Email And Organizer In The Palm Of Your Hand
Announced on April 11, 2000, BlackBerry took a step beyond the pager with the RIM 957 Wireless Handheld (pictured). The first device to take on the now-iconic BlackBerry brick-style form factor, the 957 measured 4.6 inches by 3.1 inches by 0.70 inches and weighed 5.3 ounces.
It was billed by RIM as a "palm-sized wireless handheld with integrated support for wireless email, Internet, paging and organizer features." The device was optimized for mobile users featuring a large, high-quality backlit screen, a 32-bit Intel 386 processor, 5 MB flash memory, an easy-to-use keyboard and an embedded wireless modem.
The 957 featured integrated organizer software and full support for BlackBerry wireless email. It promised access to a user's calendar, address book, task list, memo pad, calculator and alarm. The device also synchronized with a PC using a docking cradle and Intellisync software, which was then owned by Puma Technology. It used the trusty thumb-operated trackwheel for navigation and multiple notification alerts, including tone, vibrate, on-screen or LED indicator. It housed an internal rechargeable Lithium battery, a docking/charging cradle.
The device was part of BlackBerry's "Always On, Always Connected" campaign, meaning it was designed to operate around the clock while remaining connected to the wireless network for notification of and access to incoming email and other functions like paging and stock alerts.
At the time of its release, the RIM 957 Wireless Handheld sold for just under $500.