BlackBerry, a brand that changed the history of mobile telephony

0
434

Researching the market of “write my essay free” services allowed us to find a great essay from which this article was born. Knowing history is necessary, so we bring to your attention the history of Blackberry.

In August 2020 stopped manufacturing smartphones under the BlackBerry brand, news that is very likely to mean the end of this brand, whose importance had been declining in recent years, but which at the time was a real revolution in the world of mobile telephony.

Back in the last decade of the last century, when cell phones could not even access email, let alone the Internet, BlackBerry handsets with physical keyboards were the trendy devices among professionals and users who wanted to send and receive email messages wherever they were. This, coupled with its iconic keyboard, made a BlackBerry a highly sought-after device in many industries.

A few years ago, BlackBerrys were everywhere – who hasn’t owned one, or knew someone who did? People could be seen typing on them in any situation. Especially when traveling, it was common to see professionals typing their emails. But also communicating with others thanks to BlackBerry’s messaging service, the BlackBerry Messenger, a real revolution when Whatsapp was neither there nor expected.

But those days are long gone and practically forgotten by many who, at best, keep their old BlackBerry in a drawer. Gradually it was losing appeal, and the announcement by TCL a few years ago that it was keeping the license to manufacture smartphones under the BlackBerry brand, and that they would carry Android operating system, was a very hard blow to his admirers, which in the end has proved to be practically fatal.

The origins of BlackBerry

The company that gave life to the BlackBerry was the Canadian company Research in Motion (RIM). It launched one of its first portable devices in the fall of 1996: an advanced pager, the Interactive Pager 900, a clamshell that could send and receive messages. It was a success, and was followed by the Interactive Pager 800, which was also very well received. So much so that even IBM spent $10 million on it. In the summer of 1998, it was followed by the Interactive Pager 950. After these three advanced pagers, the first BlackBerrys arrived.

The first model arrived in January 1999, the BlackBerry 850, and was the first mobile device model to integrate e-mail. Outwardly, nothing differentiated it from the Pager 950, but the opportunity to send e-mails was already a major plus. This also marked a turning point for RIM, which decided to stop using the Interactive Pager name and change it to BlackBerry.

The first BlackBerry, the 850, was launched in Munich (Germany). Its name, devised by an external marketing company, is due to the shape of the buttons on the keyboard, which resemble the “droplets” that form the fruit that gives its name to the device, the Blackberry (Blackberry in English).

This BlackBerry, and the one that followed it, the 857 model, used the DataTAC network and soon became very popular among professional users. They were also popular with large companies. As early as 2002 came the first cell phone with mail integration capabilities, which also supported push mail, text messaging, fax and web browsing, albeit rudimentary. Also around that time, Blackberry began offering email services to other non-RIM devices, such as the Palm Treo, through its BlackBerry Connect software.

The original BlackBerry had a monochrome screen, although more modern models integrated color screens. All models after this one from 2002 had a layout optimized for using the keyboard with the thumbs. The Storm 1 and 2 models included a SureType keyboard. As for system navigation, prior to the launch of the BlackBerry 8700 it was handled via a wheel mounted on the side of the handset. The BlackBerry Pearl range already had a trackball on the front, which allowed four-way scrolling. The evolution of this system came with the Curve 8500 range, which integrated an optical keyboard.

The decline of an iconic brand

BlackBerry users have always felt a strong attachment to the physical keyboard. That is why the arrival of the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 with touchscreens marked a not-so-good turning point for the company. The latter combined a physical keyboard with a touchscreen, but the former lacked physical keys, which led to lower-than-expected sales.

In 2013 BlackBerry sales were still quite remarkable, although they were already starting to show some signs of exhaustion. Especially after having suffered several service outages. Those of 2005 and 2009 were not too serious, affected only a few regions and the service was soon restored.

But the 2011 outage, which affected the entire network and lasted several days, damaged the brand’s image. Especially at a time when there were already beginning to be devices that allowed Internet access and access to email from other manufacturers. This led to the fact that already in 2013, sales of Nokia’s Lumia handsets surpassed those of BlackBerry for the first time.

RIM had already begun to notice the increasingly sharp decline in sales that same year, and it was decided to sell the company at the end of summer 2013. In addition, due to the low sales of the Z10, the company had to lay off about 40% of its workforce in operational positions (about 4,500 workers) and its product line was concentrated into four products.

BlackBerry then began to receive buyout offers, but after a CEO change in November, in which John S. Chen became interim president of the company, it began to reject them, claiming that a split of the company was not in the best interest of shareholders, company workers, customers and suppliers. A few days later, the company announced its decision to strive for success, and the sale was shelved. To this day, John Chen, who was to be interim president of BlackBerry, remains at the company’s helm.

Then more BlackBerry models began to be launched. The Passport had a 4.5-inch, square, Full HD screen, emphasizing its Messenger app and some updates to the proprietary operating system then used by BB10. In 2014 came the Classic, with looks and features more similar to the Bold range and navigation buttons similar to those of previous BlackBerry models. Of course, with a keyboard. In fact, when it was discontinued in June 2016 it became the last model with a keyboard on the front.

In September 2015 came the BlackBerry Priv, with sliding keyboard and 18 Megapixel camera. But it already had a particularity that differentiated it from the previous ones: Android, although with apps and special functions inspired by the BlackBerry operating system. It was not very successful. In July 2016, despite promising that another BlackBerry with keyboard would soon be launched, one without it and with Android 6.0 arrived, the DTEK50. It had a 5.2-inch touch screen and virtual keyboard. It was the last terminal manufactured and marketed by BlackBerry, which decided to close its production line.

To avoid the disappearance of its smartphones, BlackBerry reached an agreement with TCL, manufacturer among others of Alcatel cell phones, to develop and launch Android smartphones under the BlackBerry brand. Thus came the DTEK60, already designed and manufactured by TCL, with a 5.5-inch touch screen and fingerprint sensor, among other innovations. Then came the BlackBerry KEY and KEY2, as well as the KeyONE, with a physical keyboard.

Progressively since 2013, the interest in the BlackBerry was plummeting, and today its market share is practically residual. However, many of his followers will regret their loss when next August 31 cease to be marketed and manufactured, and the license of cell phones back to BlackBerry Mobile. But who knows, maybe at some point the company will decide to carry on the BlackBerry legacy and re-release an end, or license it out.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here