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From Pagers to Smartphones: The History of the Blackberry

What makes the Blackberry line of smartphones stand out among the others? Perhaps it is the QWERTY keyboard equipped in almost every Blackberry model. It could also be the services and other features the phones provide to the users. Or perhaps, it is the ever-accessible customer support that handles technical issues, service inquiries, and various repairs.

Whatever the reasons are, one can say that the line of Blackberry smartphones is still patronized by a lot of users worldwide, despite of stronger competitors in the industry. Research in Motion (RIM) always made sure that the next Blackberry it releases is better than the previous one. Even before the start of the smartphone wars, the company has made it clear that their products are highly functional and top-of-the-line, which gained the trust of a lot of businessmen worldwide.

So to see how the Blackberry evolved, it is necessary to go back to the old days and witness how this powerful smartphone came to be.

What started it all

The first Blackberry released was the 8xx series, circa late ‘90s. First it was just a paging device. The next versions then featured calendar, organizer, and email capabilities.

Creating a versatile communications device

By 2002, RIM took it up a notch by getting over the paging business and starting out with voice communication. The keyboard and the thumbwheel (for scrolling) remained intact with the 5xxx series, which requires a headset to make voice calls. That changed with the release of the 6xxx series, which also added features like compatibilities with GSM and CDMA networks.

Adding color

RIM wanted to take it a step further. So when the 7xxx series was released in 2003, it was a success. The 7xxx series had all the features of previous Blackberries, but this time, it also introduced a colored screen display.

Tweaking for optimization

By this time, the mobile phone competition is getting tighter, so RIM decided to have its own model focused on portability. The company launched the 71xx line of Blackberries which features the SurePress technology (a keypad mixed with a full keyboard), making it smaller and easier to use.

Adding the trackball

Another great innovation from RIM was the trackball. It replaced the old thumbwheel, and was first added in 2006 through the Blackberry Pearl (or BB 8100). The trackball has been present ever since.

Adding the touchscreen

Because of the rise of other touchscreen smartphones, RIM also jumped into that bandwagon. The Blackberry Storm (BB 9530) was the first touchscreen phone of RIM, released in 2008.

While RIM may not be on top of the smartphone industry presently, it would not be a surprise if the general public is yet again impressed by the new things the Canadian company would come up with.

How was your experience with the Blackberry phones? Feel free to share it through a comment below!

Author Bio:- This guest post is contributed by Salem Carlsen. He writes for Reparilabs.com

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