A smartphone from Research in Motion, Ltd. (RIM), Waterloo, Ontario (www.blackberry.net) that is available in various models. These popular devices include phone, e-mail, text messaging, Web browsing, organizer (calendar, addresses, tasks, etc.), as well as paging, Yahoo instant messaging and corporate data access. A raft of third-party applications is also available (see BlackBerry App World).|
It Started with E-Mail
In 1999, the BlackBerry was the first wireless device that synchronized with the company mail system so that employees no longer required a different e-mail address when traveling. Initially set up for Microsoft Exchange, support for Domino and GroupWise was later added. For individuals, a BlackBerry e-mail address is also available.
In 2002, GSM voice and GPRS data service were available in the model 5810, making it the first BlackBerry with integrated phone and mail.
By early 2004, a million people were using BlackBerrys. The number leaped to four million in 2006 and jumped to over 20 million users by the end of 2008. In 2009, with a decade of sales under its belt and many users on their second, third and fourth models, RIM sold its 50 millionth BlackBerry. See BlackBerry Storm, CrackBerry, BlackBerry Messenger and smartphone.
Until the touch screen Storm came out in 2008, all models had physical keyboards. The wide units on top are quickly recognized as BlackBerrys. (Image courtesy of Research In Motion, Ltd.)
Although small, many users learned to enter data quickly with both thumbs. (Image courtesy of Research In Motion, Ltd.)