BlackBerry turns Sweet Sixteen today

BlackBerry turns Sweet Sixteen today
Happy Birthday BlackBerry! The iconic Canadian smartphone manufacturer turns Sweet Sixteen today as the very first BlackBerry device (the 850 two-way pager) launched on this date in 1999. What an amazing 16 years it has been with an incredible series of highs and lows. One needs to merely take a glance at a chart of the company's stock price throughout the years (especially when the company was called Research In Motion).

The company was riding high in 2007 and 2008 with a stock price that reached a peak near $140. BlackBerry devices were known for their fabulous QWERTY keyboards, and the BlackBerry OS offered what many considered the best email client and calendar application. But along came the Apple iPhone and its touchscreen in 2007, and things were never the same again. In retrospect, the company's co-CEOs didn't take the iPhone seriously and their hubris came back to bite them in the rear.

A few months after the OG Apple iPhone launched, and a month before the Apple iPhone 3G was released, BlackBerry launched its highest spec'd model to date, the BlackBerry Bold 9000. But the company still did not employ a touchscreen. That would finally happen with the over-hyped BlackBerry Storm 9530 for Verizon. Touted as BlackBerry's answer to the iPhone, the Storm featured SurePress which was supposed to make typing on glass feel as though you were typing on a physical QWERTY. The device was rushed out and was never a serious iPhone challenger (that would be reserved for 2009's Motorola DROID). It didn't even include Wi-Fi connectivity.

BlackBerry's ineptitude was displayed with the release of the BlackBerry PlayBook. The tablet launched without a calendar app or email client, two features of the BlackBerry OS considered to be best-in-class. A subsequent update took care of that problem, but it did reveal the company's failure to think things through.

BlackBerry finally got touch on a handset right with the BlackBerry Bold 9900. This model combined the look of the original Bold 9000 with a touchscreen. But losing market share quickly, the company took advantage of the departure of co-CEOs Jim Balsllie and Mike Lazaridis and offered a brand new OS designed to take on iOS and rapidly expanding Android. Based on the QNX OS that it used for its tablet (BlackBerry liked the company so much that it bought the firm) and dubbed BlackBerry 10, it is the OS that currently drives 'Berry handsets.

Thorston Heins lived through an unremarkable reign as CEO. Despite launching a new series of BlackBerry 10 phones, it was the older BlackBerry 7 models that were selling best. With a market share reduced to microscopic levels, turnaround artist John Chen was called in to work his magic following a failed attempt by the company's largest stockholder to buy it.

Chen immediately worked a deal with contract manufacturer Foxconn to design, manufacture and warehouse handsets for emerging markets. BlackBerry would be responsible for the software. The first model launched under the pact, the BlackBerry Z3, was fairly successful. A new flagship device, the BlackBerry Passport introduced a physical QWERTY that works with a contexual virtual keyboard. The 1440 x 1440 resolution 4.5-inch screen allows business users to "Work Wide," and more easily view spreadsheets and documents. Designed for the enterprise, the Passport has become a cult favorite. Chen also released the BlackBerry Classic, which brought back the function keys and optical trackpad. This phone is designed for all of those BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 owners who love the hardware, but desire the latest BlackBerry OS.

Has Chen turned the company around? There are rumors that Samsung is in talks to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion, a rumor denied by BlackBerry. Let's just say that in the little over a year that Chen has occupied the CEO's office, the odds of BlackBerry living for another 16 years (even as part of another company) have improved greatly.


source: BlackBerry

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74 Comments

1. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Just prior a two way pager was wtf magic. Amazing to have watched progress so far. Kudos an HB BB!

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

For comparison sake - Android is 12 years old(7 for wide release years). iOS is 7 years old.

6. sgodsell

Posts: 6902; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

IOS is based on os x which is based on freebsd. Windows Phone is based on Windows. All OS's evolve over time. So your point is stupid. So for comparison sake its dumb. Blackberry 10 is definitely not the same OS that started out 16 years ago. But this comparison or anything else you post is expected to be dumb anyway.

7. Mxyzptlk unregistered

What exactly is your point assuming you even have one? Your atttack was unwarranted.

29. Gp_Customs

Posts: 269; Member since: Jan 14, 2015

Another area where Linux shines over all other operating systems is in its ability to migrate an installation from hardware to hardware. Linux has an uncanny ability to be able to relocate. I have taken complete hard drives and moved them from one machine to another. So long as the architecture was the same (in other words, not moving from a x86 to an x86_64 machine), the migration always seemed to work with little to no adjusting. OS X, on the other hand, is landlocked to the machine it was installed in. Also, with Linux, you can take certain directories and move them from machine to machine. This works well with the /home directory. Having the ability to migrate your /home directory from one machine to another can make building machines a snap. With OS X, you'll always be reinstalling from scratch. IOS is a POS , and locked down, halfbaked.

37. Mxyzptlk unregistered

No that's your comment not iOS

15. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

He hates every company that's not a fruit & also have a billion dollars in stock money or makes a better Software in a phone. He's just a teen iFan.

17. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Did they forget to add grammar into your programming?

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

Who cares, Mxyzptlk? This is a BlackBerry article.

12. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Yeah and?

13. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

So stay on topic, troll.

18. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Blackberry. There you happy?

23. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

Not while you're here trolling and being off topic.

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I wasn't. Don't get so bitter about a small comment.

27. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

The only bitter one around here is you, or did you forget how bitter you got merely because I corrected an error that you made: http://www.phonearena.com/news/Concept-images-show-what-Instagram-New-York-Times-and-other-apps-could-look-like-on-Apple-Watch_id64919/comments Still bitter over this one little comment on this article, aren't you?

47. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Lol. Ok.

57. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

"Lol. Ok". Saying that doesn't make it any less true.

62. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Ok lol

65. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

Still doesn't make it any less true, no matter how you say it.

70. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Cool story

75. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

You mean TRUE story. There. I fixed your post for you.

81. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Nothing to fix.

30. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

posted on3 days ago, 19:453 ReportReply 12. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4553; Member since: 21 Apr 2012) OMG Please Apple just shut the - up and take my damn monies. posted on2 days ago, 20:422 14. darkkjedii (Posts: 13264; Member since: 05 Feb 2011) Couldn't have said it better myself. posted on2 days ago, 23:10 19. meanestgenius (Posts: 2537; Member since: 28 May 2014) It's "money", not "monies". posted onyesterday, 05:523 in response to #19 21. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4553; Member since: 21 Apr 2012) It's whatever I want it to be. posted onyesterday, 06:38in response to #21 23. meanestgenius (Posts: 2537; Member since: 28 May 2014) In other words, you're too proud to admit that you don't know the difference between "money" and "monies". Got it. posted onyesterday, 07:063 in response to #23 24. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4553; Member since: 21 Apr 2012) Omg who the hell cares? posted onyesterday, 07:45in response to #24 25. meanestgenius (Posts: 2537; Member since: 28 May 2014) Touched a nerve, have I? I must have exposed a weakness or something, because you sure are acting "salty" all of a sudden Yeah, I guess I'd be bitter too if I was corrected from making such an obvious mistake.

33. Gp_Customs

Posts: 269; Member since: Jan 14, 2015

He will never reply back. Such an in denial he will be.

48. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Responding to comments on PA isn't a high priority on my list.

59. Gp_Customs

Posts: 269; Member since: Jan 14, 2015

Why would it be, when you've nothing to reply. They always shut you up with replies.

26. Gp_Customs

Posts: 269; Member since: Jan 14, 2015

The sheer fact that people say iPhones are better without any knowledge of the technical specifications frightens me. The people who love Apple tend to be biased based on the popularity of their products, when really there is no innovation whatsoever. Almost all features of Apple products were based on competitor's products, except that Apple gave it a new name and look. If you compare the specifications between Apple products and Samsung products, you will see that there is a huge difference between the two. I'm not saying Apple is terrible, I have a few Apple products myself, but Apple's popularity is mostly the popularity

28. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

Very well said. +1.

38. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

And now what? I mean really MG, what does his post, or any of our posts do or prove? Who's getting rid of their iPhones over post 26? I know I'm not. I'm getting rid of mine for the 6S+. Don't take it so serious bro.

40. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

Don't take what so serious? That trolls like Mxyzptlk come to every BlackBerry article to do nothing but troll, then complain when others do it on iOS articles? Or the fact that comment #26 is the truth? I don't think that post was intended to get anyone to get rid of their iPhones. I also don't take any of this seriously. It's just, as you would say, tech. However, I don't have to like when trolls like Mxyzptlk troll every BlackBerry article and yet you're telling me not to take it seriously.

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