Apple's release of the iOS 5 couldn't have been at a more perfect time when RIM BlackBerry is having major outage problems. And with the new iMessage feature on iOS5 RIM could take another hit.

BlackBerry maker RIM's core switch at its Slough data center crashed this week and resulted in a three-day blackout, causing the biggest network outage in its history.

The outage couldn't have come at a more inopportune time for RIM, as it has been steadily losing market share in the smartphone market to both Apple's iPhone and Google's Android operating system devices. The blackout started in Monday in Europe, the Middle East and Africa before spreading to North America.

We don't know why the switch failed and why service never failed over to another alternative switch, RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis said at a service update conference held on Thursday afternoon.

PC World reported that RIM couldn't provide a straight answer as to why the company couldn't avoid the network traffic backlogs by re-routing traffic by bypassing Slough. This has left some to wonder if RIM didn't have the capacity at all to re-route traffic to the countries served by Slough.

But RIM seems to be doing all the worlk for Apple, which earlier this week released its overhauled iOS 5 with more than 200 new features for iPhoneiPad, or iPod touch. All these devices work with Apple's new iCloud, iTunes 10.5. Other features include Twitter and iMessage, and will be available on the iPhone 4S which have started being sold in stores nationwide on Friday.

iMessage is revolutionary and with RIM facing so many problems it could take out BlackBerry messenger and possibly mobile carriers' text message plans.

iOS5 allows its users to send unlimited text messages via Wi-Fi or 3G from their iOS 5-ready devices to anyone with devices that are just as capable. iMessage is built into the messages app and with iCloud these messages can be accessed from remote locations. Carriers charge about 20 cents to both send and receive text message. iMessage works just like SMS, with one good exception ... you text on the cheap.

See why BlackBerry is doing Apple's work without having the iPhone maker lift a muscle?

If not, let me further break it down.

- With iMessage just enter your message app and you are ready to get your text on (just as you would do for SMS): You don't have to wonder if your BlackBerry service is up and running.

- Messaging with PINs is now passe: No more getting your contacts' PIN and waiting for a response after you send them a message invite. iMessage has moved users into the era where your iOS5-ready iDevice can detect your friends' iOS 5-ready device and send an iMessage.

- BBM only works on RIM-made smartphones while iMessage works on any iOS device running iOS 5. Simple.