RIM has admitted to a major outage for its BlackBerry service affecting UK users acroos all networks, and those in the rest of the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions.

The company has sent Pocket-lint a statement and promises to keep us up to date with any further developments. "We are currently experiencing a BlackBerry service issue impacting some users in Europe, Middle East & Africa," it says. "All relevant support teams are working to resolve the issue. We apologise to any customers who may be affected."

BlackBerry UK has also tweeted messages for customers. "Some users in Europe, Middle East and Africa are experiencing issues with their BlackBerry service," says the first post.

"We are investigating and apologise for any inconvenience."

It could be said that this couldn't have come at a worse time for the manufacturer, happening on the day that Apple released its new iPhone, the iPhone 5. However, for BlackBerry users, when would be a good time for a major outage?

RIM has had to apologise publicly for major outages to its BlackBerry service several times in the past - most notably in October 2011 when the company suffered its worst and most elongated loss of service to date. It was blamed on a "core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure".

Let's hope this latest issue is resolved much more quickly.

UPDATE: RIM has now released the following statement announcing normal service has resumed:

"Our apologies to any customers impacted by the BlackBerry service issue today. We can confirm that services have been restored and are now operating normally."

UDPATE 2: RIM has issued the following message from the CEO: 

"I want to apologize to those BlackBerry customers in Europe and Africa who experienced an impact in their quality of service earlier this morning.  The BlackBerry service is now fully restored and I can report that no data or messages were lost.  Up to 6 percent of our user base may have been impacted.  Preliminary analysis suggests that those customers may have experienced a maximum delay of 3 hours in the delivery and reception of their messages. We are conducting a full technical analysis of this quality of service issue and will report as soon as it concludes.  I again want to apologize to those customers who were impacted today."

Are you affected by the latest BlackBerry outage? Will it convince you to switch phones? Let us know in the comments below...