|Units shipped||200 million|
|Operating system||BlackBerry 10|
|Online services||BlackBerry World|
The BlackBerry is a line of wireless handheld devices and services designed and marketed by Research In Motion Limited (RIM) operating as BlackBerry. The first BlackBerry device, an email pager, was released in 1999; the most recent BlackBerry devices, the Z10 and Q10, were announced on January 30, 2013. The user interface varies by model; most feature a physical QWERTY keyboard, while newer generations have relied on a multi-touch screen and virtual keyboard.
A BlackBerry can shoot video, take photos, play music, and perform online functions such as web-browsing and emailing. They can also send and receive push email and instant messages while maintaining a high level of security through on-device message encryption, and are designed to function as personal digital assistants. BlackBerry devices support a large variety of instant messaging features, with the most popular being the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger service. The BlackBerry PlayBook is a tablet computer offered by the company. The 100 millionth BlackBerry smartphone was shipped in June quarter of 2010 and the 200 millionth smartphone was shipped in September quarter of 2012.
BlackBerry accounts for 3% of mobile device sales worldwide in 2011, making its manufacturer the sixth most popular device maker (25% of mobile device sales are smartphones). The consumer BlackBerry Internet Service is available in 91 countries worldwide on over 500 mobile service operators using various mobile technologies. As of September 2012, there were eighty million subscribers worldwide to BlackBerry. In 2011 the Caribbean and Latin America had the highest penetrations of BlackBerry smartphones worldwide, with up to about 45 per cent in the region having a RIM device.
BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone are considered the four major smartphone brands. BlackBerry is widely referred to as "CrackBerry" in the United States, which alludes to its excessive use by its owners and is a reference to the addictiveness of crack cocaine. Use of the term CrackBerry became so widespread that in November 2006 Webster's New World College Dictionary named "crackberry" the "New Word of the Year."
The first BlackBerry device, the 850, was introduced in 1999 as a two-way pager in Munich, Germany. The name BlackBerry was coined by the marketing company Lexicon Branding. The name was chosen due to the resemblance of the keyboard's buttons to that of the drupelets that compose the blackberry fruit.
In 2003, the more commonly known smartphone BlackBerry was released, which supports push email, mobile telephone, text messaging, Internet faxing, Web browsing and other wireless information services. It is an example of a convergent device. The original BlackBerry devices, the RIM 850 and 857, used the DataTAC network.
BlackBerry first made headway in the marketplace by concentrating on email. RIM currently offers BlackBerry email service to non-BlackBerry devices, such as the Palm Treo, through its BlackBerry Connect software.
The original BlackBerry device had a monochrome display, but all current models have color displays. All models, except for the Storm series, the all-touch Torch 9850/9860 and the Curve 9380 had a built-in QWERTY keyboard, optimized for "thumbing", the use of only the thumbs to type. The Storm 1 and Storm 2 include a SureType keypad for typing. Originally, system navigation was achieved with the use of a scroll wheel mounted on the right side of phones prior to the 8700. The trackwheel was replaced by the trackball with the introduction of the Pearl series which allowed 4-way scrolling. The trackball was replaced by the optical trackpad with the introduction of the Curve 8500 series. Models made to use iDEN networks such as Nextel and Mike also incorporate a push-to-talk (PTT) feature, similar to a two-way radio.
Modern LTE based handhelds such as the BlackBerry Z10 have a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus 1.5 GHz Dual-Core CPU and an Adreno 225 1.5-1.7 GHz GPU. GSM-based BlackBerry handhelds incorporate an ARM 7, 9 or 11 processor. Some of the BlackBerry models (Torch 9850/9860, Torch 9810, and Bold 9900/9930) have a 1.2 GHz MSM8655 Snapdragon processor, 768 MB system memory, and 8 GB of on-board storage. Entry-level models, such as the Curve 9360, feature a Marvell PXA940 clocked at 800 MHz.
Some previous BlackBerry devices, such as the Bold 9000, were equipped with XScale 624 MHz processors. The Bold 9700 featured a newer version of the Bold 9000's processor but is clocked at the same speed. The Curve 8520 featured a 512 MHz processor, while BlackBerry 8000 series smartphones, such as the 8700 and the Pearl, are based on the 312 MHz ARM XScale ARMv5TE PXA900. An exception to this is the BlackBerry 8707 which is based on the 80 MHz Qualcomm 3250 chipset; this was due to the PXA900 chipset not supporting 3G networks. The 80 MHz processor in the BlackBerry 8707 meant the device was often slower to download and render web pages over 3G than the 8700 was over EDGE networks. Early BlackBerry devices, such as the BlackBerry 950, used Intel 80386-based processors.
A new operating system, BlackBerry 10, was released for two new BlackBerry models (Z10 and Q10) on January 30, 2013. At BlackBerry World 2012, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins demonstrated some of the new features of the OS, including a camera which is able to rewind frame-by-frame to allow selection of the best shot, an intelligent, predictive, and adapting keyboard, and a user interface designed around the idea of "flow". Apps are available for BlackBerry 10 devices through the BlackBerry World storefront.
The previous operating system developed for older BlackBerry devices was BlackBerry OS which is a proprietary multitasking environment developed by RIM. The operating system is designed for use of input devices such as the track wheel, track ball, and track pad. The OS provides support for Java MIDP 1.0 and WAP 1.2. Previous versions allowed wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server email and calendar, as well as with Lotus Domino email. OS 5.0 provides a subset of MIDP 2.0, and allows complete wireless activation and synchronization with Exchange email, calendar, tasks, notes and contacts, and adds support for Novell GroupWise and Lotus Notes. The BlackBerry Curve 9360, BlackBerry Torch 9810, Bold 9900/9930, Curve 9310/9320 and Torch 9850/9860 feature the most recent BlackBerry OS 7 (launched in 2011). Apps are available for these devices through BlackBerry World (which before 2013 was called BlackBerry App World).
Third-party developers can write software using these APIs, and proprietary BlackBerry APIs as well. Any application that makes use of certain restricted functionality must be digitally signed so that it can be associated to a developer account at RIM. This signing procedure guarantees the authorship of an application but does not guarantee the quality or security of the code. RIM provides tools for developing applications and themes for BlackBerry. Applications and themes can be loaded onto BlackBerry devices through BlackBerry World, Over The Air (OTA) through the BlackBerry mobile browser, or through BlackBerry Desktop Manager.
BlackBerry devices use the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger, also known as BBM, software for sending and receiving encrypted instant messages, voice notes, images and videos via BlackBerry PIN. As long as your cell phone has a data plan these messages are all free of charge. Some of the features of BBM include groups, bar-code scanning, lists, shared calendars, BBM Music and integration with apps and games using the BBM social platform.
BlackBerry recently announced that it is in the process of shutting down its streaming music service BBM Music, which is in active for almost two years since its launch. BlackBerry Messenger Music will stop working from 2nd June, 2013.
BlackBerry smartphones can be integrated into an organization's email system through a software package called BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Versions of BES are available for Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, Novell GroupWise and Google Apps. While individual users may be able to use a wireless provider's email services without having to install BES themselves, organizations with multiple users usually run BES on their own network. Some third-party companies provide hosted BES solutions. Every BlackBerry has a unique ID called a BlackBerry PIN, which is used to identify the device to the BES. BlackBerry now provides a free BES software called BES Express (BESX).
The primary BES feature is to relay email from a corporate mailbox to a Blackberry handheld device. The BES monitors the user's mailbox, relaying new messages to the handheld via RIM's Network Operations Center (NOC) and user's wireless provider. This feature is known as push email, because all new emails, contacts, task entries, memopad entries, and calendar entries are pushed out to the BlackBerry device immediately (as opposed to the user synchronizing the data manually or having the device poll the server at intervals).
BlackBerry also supports polling email, through third party applications. The messaging system built into the BlackBerry only understands how to receive messages from a BES or the BIS, these services handle the connections to the user's mail providers. Device storage also enables the mobile user to access all data off-line in areas without wireless service. When the user reconnects to wireless service, the BES sends the latest data.
A feature of the newer models of the BlackBerry is their ability to quickly track your current location through trilateration without the use of GPS, thus saving battery life and time. Trilateration can be used as a quick, less battery intensive way to provide location-aware applications with the co-ordinates of the user. However, the accuracy of BlackBerry trilateration is less than that of GPS due to a number of factors, including cell tower blockage by large buildings, mountains, or distance.
BES also provides handhelds with TCP/IP connectivity accessed through a component called MDS (Mobile Data System) Connection Service. This allows custom application development using data streams on BlackBerry devices based on the Sun Microsystems Java ME platform.
In addition, BES provides network security, in the form of Triple DES or, more recently, AES encryption of all data (both email and MDS traffic) that travels between the BlackBerry handheld and a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Most providers offer flat monthly pricing via special Blackberry tariffs for unlimited data between BlackBerry units and BES. In addition to receiving email, organizations can make intranets or custom internal applications with unmetered traffic.
With more recent versions of the BlackBerry platform, the MDS is no longer a requirement for wireless data access. Starting with OS 3.8 or 4.0, BlackBerry handhelds can access the Internet (i.e. TCP/IP access) without an MDS – formerly only email and WAP access was possible without a BES/MDS. The BES/MDS is still required for secure email, data access, and applications that require WAP from carriers that do not allow WAP access.
The primary alternative to using BlackBerry Enterprise Server is to use the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). BlackBerry Internet Service is available in 91 countries internationally. BlackBerry Internet Service was developed primarily for the average consumer rather than for the business consumer. The service allows users to access POP3, IMAP, and Outlook Web App (not via Exchange ActiveSync) email accounts without connecting through a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). BlackBerry Internet Service allows up to 10 email accounts to be accessed, including proprietary as well as public email accounts (such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL). BlackBerry Internet Service also supports the push capabilities of various other BlackBerry Applications. Various applications developed by RIM for BlackBerry utilize the push capabilities of BIS, such as the Instant Messaging clients (like Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger). The MMS, PIN, interactive gaming, mapping and trading applications[which?] require data plans like BIS (not just Wi-Fi) for use. The service is usually provisioned through a mobile phone service provider, though BlackBerry actually runs the service.
At 2011-10-10 10:00 UTC there was an outage in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, affecting millions of users. There was another outage just the next day. By October 12, 2011, the Blackberry Internet Service went down in North America. Research In Motion has been attributing data overload due to switch failures in their two data centres in Waterloo in Canada and Slough in England as the cause of the service disruptions.
Several non-BlackBerry mobile phones have been released featuring the BlackBerry email client which connects to BlackBerry servers. Many of these phones have full QWERTY keyboards.
Third-party software available for use on BlackBerry devices includes full-featured database management systems, which can be used to support customer relationship management clients and other applications that must manage large volumes of potentially complex data.
In March 2011, RIM announced an optional Android player that could play applications developed for the android system would be available for the BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM's first entry in the tablet market.
On August 24, 2011 Bloomberg News reported unofficial rumors that BlackBerry devices would be able to run Android applications when RIM brings QNX and the Android App Player to BlackBerry. On October 20, 2011 RIM officially announced that Android applications could run, unmodified, on the BlackBerry tablet and the newest BlackBerry phones, using the newest version of its operating system.
BlackBerry 10 devices:
BlackBerry 7 devices:
BlackBerry 6 devices:
BlackBerry 5 devices:
Blackberry 4 and earlier devices:
Many BlackBerry retail stores operate outside North America, such as in Thailand, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, and Mexico. In December 2007 a BlackBerry Store opened in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The store offers BlackBerry device models from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint, the major U.S. carriers which offer smartphones. There were three prior attempts at opening BlackBerry stores in Toronto and London (UK), but they eventually folded. There are also BlackBerry Stores operated by Wireless Giant at airports in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Houston, and Newark, but several have been slated for closing
BlackBerry PIN is an eight character hexadecimal identification number assigned to each BlackBerry device. PINs cannot be changed manually on the device (though BlackBerry technicians are able to reset or update a PIN server-side), and are locked to each specific BlackBerry. BlackBerry devices can message each other using the PIN directly or by using the BlackBerry Messenger application. BlackBerry PINs are tracked by BlackBerry Enterprise Servers and the BlackBerry Internet Service and are used to direct messages to a BlackBerry device. Emails and any other messages, such as those from the BlackBerry Push Service, are typically directed to a BlackBerry device's PIN. The message can then be routed by a RIM Network Operations Center, and sent to a carrier, which will deliver the message the last mile to the device. In September 2012 RIM announced that the BlackBerry PIN would be replaced by users' BlackBerry ID starting in 2013 with the launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform.
In 2000 NTP sent notice of its wireless email patents to a number of companies and offered to license the patents to them. NTP brought a patent-infringement lawsuit against one of the companies, Research In Motion, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. This court is well known for its strict adherence to timetables and deadlines, sometimes referred to as the "rocket docket", and is particularly efficient at trying patent cases.
The jury eventually found that the NTP patents were valid, that RIM had infringed them, that the infringement had been "willful," and that the infringement had cost NTP $33 million in damages (the greater of a reasonable royalty or lost profits). The judge, James R. Spencer, increased the damages to $53 million as a punitive measure because the infringement had been willful. He also instructed RIM to pay NTP's legal fees of $4.5 million and issued an injunction ordering RIM to cease and desist infringing the patents. This would have shut down the BlackBerry systems in the US. RIM appealed all of the findings of the court. The injunction and other remedies were stayed pending the outcome of the appeals.
In March 2005 during the appeals process, RIM and NTP tried to negotiate a settlement of their dispute; the settlement was to be for $450 million. Negotiations broke down due to other issues. On June 10, 2005, the matter returned to the courts. In early November 2005 the US Department of Justice filed a brief requesting that RIM's service be allowed to continue because of the large number of BlackBerry users in the US Federal Government.
In January 2006 the US Supreme Court refused to hear RIM's appeal of the holding of liability for patent infringement, and the matter was returned to a lower court. The prior granted injunction preventing all RIM sales in the US and use of the BlackBerry device might have been enforced by the presiding district court judge had the two parties been unable to reach a settlement.
On February 9, 2006, the US Department of Defense (DOD) filed a brief stating that an injunction shutting down the BlackBerry service while excluding government users was unworkable. The DOD also stated that the BlackBerry was crucial for national security given the large number of government users.
On February 9, 2006, RIM announced that it had developed software workarounds that would not infringe the NTP patents, and would implement those if the injunction was enforced.
On March 3, 2006, after a stern warning from Judge Spencer, RIM and NTP announced that they had settled their dispute. Under the terms of the settlement, RIM has agreed to pay NTP $612.5 million (USD) in a “full and final settlement of all claims.” In a statement, RIM said that “all terms of the agreement have been finalized and the litigation against RIM has been dismissed by a court order this afternoon. The agreement eliminates the need for any further court proceedings or decisions relating to damages or injunctive relief.” The settlement amount is believed low by some analysts, because of the absence of any future royalties on the technology in question.
The Certification requires the user to pass several exams relating to the BlackBerry Device, all its functions including Desktop software and providing technical support to Customers of BlackBerry Devices.
The BCESA, BlackBerry Certified Enterprise Sales Associate qualification, is the first of three levels of professional BlackBerry Certification.
More information on certifications is on the Blackberry.com website.
The BlackBerry Technical Certifications available are:
The advanced encryption capabilities of the BlackBerry Smartphone make it eligible for use by government agencies and state forces alike.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, became known for his dependence on a BlackBerry device for communication during his 2008 presidential campaign. Despite the security issues, he insisted on using it even after inauguration. This was seen by some as akin to a "celebrity endorsement," which marketing experts have estimated to be worth between $25 and $50 million.
An example is the West Yorkshire Police, which has allowed the increase in the presence of police officers along the streets and a reduction in public spending, given that each officer could perform the work desk directly via the mobile device, as well as in several other areas and situations. The US Federal Government and Department of Defense are also prominent examples of BlackBerry device users, the latter agency even stating that the BlackBerry smartphone is "essential for national security" because of the large number of BlackBerry users in the government. The high encryption standard of BlackBerry smartphones and the PlayBook tablet allow them to be the only consumer handheld devices certified for use by US Government agencies.
In Canada, Toronto and many other municipalities within Canada have issued BlackBerry devices to most of its employees including but not limited to transportation, technical, water and operations inspection staff and all management staff in order to improve the communication between contracted construction companies, its winter maintenance operations and to assist and successfully organize multi-million dollar contracts. The devices are the standard mobile device to receive e-mail redirected from GroupWise. All Blackberry models also provide cellular voice services. The City's e-mail environment is currently set up to support "ONLY" Blackberry devices. Devices from Palm Treo, Nokia and others, including so-called "Blackberry Connect" devices, are not approved for City use because of security, licensing, support and/or integration issues.
In India, traffic police in the Southern Indian city of Bangalore have begun using BlackBerry devices to print e-receipt or e-challan for traffic offenses. They are also used to upload the details of booked cases and to retrieve auto and driver license information.
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, is a longtime BlackBerry user. Although smartphones running Google's Android mobile operating system compete with BlackBerry, Schmidt said in a 2013 interview that he uses a BlackBerry because he prefers its keyboard.
The Italian criminal group known as the 'Ndrangheta was reported on February 2009 to have communicated overseas with the Gulf Cartel, a Mexican drug cartel, through the use of the BlackBerry, since the texts are "normally difficult to intercept".
The primary competitors of the BlackBerry are smartphones running Android and the Apple iPhone. BlackBerry has struggled to compete against both and its market share has plunged since 2011, leading to speculation that it will be unable to survive as an independent going concern. However, it has managed to maintain significant positions in some markets.
Despite market share loss, on a global basis, the number of active BlackBerry users has increased substantially through the years. For example, for the fiscal period during which the Apple iPhone was first released, RIM reported that they had a user base of 10.5 million BlackBerry subscribers. At the end of 2008, when Google Android first hit the market, RIM reported that the number of BlackBerry subscribers had increased to 21 million. Finally, in the quarter ended June 28, 2012, RIM announced that the number of BlackBerry subscribers had reached 78 million globally. After the release of the Apple iPhone 5 in September 2012 RIM CEO Thorsten Heins announced that the current global users is up to 80 million, which sparked a 7% jump in shares.
The global number of active Blackberry users since 2003:
|Number of BlackBerry Users Globally:||As Of:|
|534,000||March 1, 2003|
|1,069,000||February 28, 2004|
|2,510,000||February 26, 2005|
|4,900,000||March 4, 2006|
|8,000,000||March 3, 2007|
|14,000,000||March 1, 2008|
|25,000,000||February 28, 2009|
|41,000,000||February 27, 2010|
|70,000,000||August 27, 2011|
|77,000,000||March 3, 2012|
|79,000,000||December 1, 2012|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: BlackBerry smartphones|
|url=missing title (help). Retrieved September 16, 2012.
Here you can share your comments or contribute with more information, content, resources or links about this topic.