The Canadian company in Waterloo, Ontario that pioneered email on the smartphone, founded in 1984 as Research In Motion (RIM). With the introduction of the BlackBerry 10 in 2013, RIM renamed itself after its product line.
BlackBerry phones were the primary smartphones in companies in the early 2000s. Today, BlackBerrys are licensed to TCL Communication and use the Android operating system (see BlackBerry Key
BlackBerry Email Pioneered the Smartphone
In the 1980s and 1990s, RIM products were text-only pagers that used the Mobitex network. In 1995, two-way messaging was introduced. However, the big change occurred in 1999 when the BlackBerry pager became the first mobile device that synchronized with a company's email server (see BlackBerry Enterprise Server
). See Mobitex
In 2002, GSM voice and GPRS data were added in the model 5810, making it the first BlackBerry smartphone. Two years later, a million people were using them, and in 2009, with so many repeat users, the 50 millionth BlackBerry was sold. At the end of 2012, there were approximately 79 million subscribers.
In the late 2000s, iPhones and Androids were introduced that offered touchscreens, slick software and most significantly, email synchronization, BlackBerry's claim to fame. As iPhone and Android sales skyrocketed, BlackBerry users switched, and by the time new, innovative BlackBerrys were introduced in 2013, sales were barely 1% of the market (see BlackBerry 10
). The company launched a turnaround plan that focused on selling mobile security software to enterprises and deriving royalties from its thousands of patents. In 2015, the first Android-only BlackBerry debuted (see BlackBerry Priv
). See BlackBerry App World
, BlackBerry Enterprise Server
, BlackBerry Storm
, BlackBerry Messenger
Classic BlackBerry Models
Until the Storm came out in 2008, BlackBerrys had physical keyboards, which was their distinguishing feature. Using both thumbs, people learned to type quickly. (Images courtesy of BlackBerry, www.blackberry.com)
Android on BlackBerry Key