International Technology

Watch | What happened to BlackBerry?

At one point of time the QWERTY keyboard was synonymous with BlackBerry. The company was founded in 1984 as Research in Motion.

Its first handheld device, BlackBerry 850, was announced in 1999. It offered something all its competitors couldn’t touch at the time – access to emails on the go.

The Blackberry 5810 which ran on a 2G network was launched in 2002. It had voice calling capabilities and it came with a colour screen. It became the device of choice in corporate America due to its enterprise-level security and business functionality.

In 2005 it launched BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), its proprietary mobile instant messenger. Apple launched its first phone in 2007, opening the market to full touch screen phones. In 2008 BlackBerry launched Storm, its first full touch phone.

A majority of American big businesses and government organizations still relied on BlackBerry’s security, reliable email, and utilitarian functionality.

BlackBerry hit its peak in 2013 with 85 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide In 2016.

BlackBerry announced that it would no longer be making devices of its own. TCL picked up the license and started manufacturing the phones under the brand of BlackBerry Mobile.

Under CEO John Chen, BlackBerry, from being a smartphone-only firm, has refashioned itself around its enterprise and software services. The Chinese electronics group TCL has announced in 2020 that it will stop selling BlackBerry phones after August 31.


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