The History of the BlackBerry | By Neo Nashville
Although the market is now awash with smartphones that combine advanced computing facilities with telephone functionality, the unit that really kicked off the craze was developed in the early 2000s by a Canadian firm called Research In Motion and called the BlackBerry.
The very first Blackberry, introduced in 1999, was not a phone at all, but a hand held wireless two way pager with PDA functionality.
In 2002, Research In Motion(RIM) introduced a smartphone to their BlackBerry range, which was to go on to be the product that would establish them as the biggest name in the PDA business.
With a BlackBerry smartphone, you could send and receive phone calls, text messages, faxes, and emails, and browse the internet wherever you were.
When RIM brought out their first smartphone in 2002, there were already several such devices on the market, including the market leading Nokia 9000, which was essentially a mobile phone with a QWERTY keyboard, organiser software, and a larger than usual screen. However the BlackBerry managed to steal a march on these rival products by including a number of unique new features.
Perhaps the most revolutionary feature of the BlackBerry was its unique ability to send and receive emails, using a technology known as push emailing that automatically forwarded new emails, contacts, and calendar entries from the company server to the unit without the need for manual synchronisation or regular polling.
The control surface of the BlackBerry also caused quite a stir, featuring as it did a small thumb keyboard, laid out in the same fashion as a traditional computer or typewriter, but optimised for use with just the thumbs. Navigation through menus was originally accomplished via a side-mounted wheel, although later models used a tracker ball, which facilitated mouse-style interaction with the user interface.
Some models also include a Push-to-Talk feature, which is similar in operation to a two-way radio, and is useful for carrying on intermittent conversations of the type that often occur within offices over longer distances.
Blackberries are very popular with businesses who have a lot of roaming employees, as it offers office-style integration on the move.
The BlackBerry email system enables messages to be written and replied to in circumstances where reception is poor or intermittent, as all the information is stored inside the unit, meaning that packets of data could be sent and received as and when reception was available, with little or no adverse affect on productivity.
A handy feature of the BlackBerry is its trilateration function, which works a little like a GPS device, but without the need for connection to a satellite. It is particularly handy for bosses who need to know the whereabouts of their employees, or for finding people in busy thoroughfares that you have never met face to face before.
Vodafone stock a large mobile phone range, including Blackberry for you to chose from.
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