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BlackBerrys get their email through RIM’s centralized setup, allowing the company to offer a high level of security that appeals to corporate IT managers. But when something goes wrong, it affects millions of people at the same time. Blackouts are not localized to one company or one carrier, as other outages are.

Such a widespread, highly visible failure could threaten RIM stock. But investors have taken the outage in stride. The stock is down less than 1 percent since Friday’s close.

That’s because RIM’s stock is already so beaten down by other bad news. It’s lost 83 percent of its value from its peak three years ago _ the time it’s taken for BlackBerrys to go from hot items and status symbols to near-has-beens.