By August 28, 2008

History of the BlackBerry Phone

image The BlackBerry phone is a wireless handheld device that was originally launched in 1997 as a two-way pager. The more commonly known BlackBerry we are accustomed to today, which supports push e-mail, mobile telephone, text messaging, internet faxing, web browsing, and other wireless information services was released in 2002. Developed and manufactured by Canadian telecommunications company Research in Motion (RIM), the BlackBerry delivers telecommunications over wireless data networks provided by mobile phone service companies, such as O2, Vodafone and T-Mobile.

While BlackBerry’s include PDA applications, such as address book, calendar, to-do lists, their claim to fame has always been their ability to send and receive e-mail wherever it can access a wireless broadband network. It has a built in QWERTY keyboard designed for “thumbing”, the use of only thumbs to type. How did RIM come up with the name BlackBerry you wonder? After weeks of working with Lexicon Branding Inc., the Sausalito, California-based firm, responsible for naming Intel’s Pentium microprocessor and Apple’s PowerBook, they settled on “BlackBerry”, one of the naming experts thought the little buttons looked like “tiny seeds in a strawberry.” Straw sounded to slow and someone else suggested blackberry and RIM was sold. Before ‘BlackBerry’ the device was called LeapFrog, alluding to the technology leaping over its competitors. During brainstorming, the placeholder name was PocketLink. On April 2, 2008, RIM announced the number of BlackBerry subscribers had passed 14 million. Not bad for a little company from Waterloo, Ontario.

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Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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