As long as we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the unveiling of the Apple iPhone on January 9th, we should celebrate today the 18th anniversary of the first BlackBerry device. It was on January 19th, 1999 when a relatively unknown company called Research In Motion introduced the BlackBerry name for a line of devices that included a "breakthrough wireless email solution for mobile professionals."
The first product to wear the BlackBerry name was the BlackBerry Handheld which combined paging functionality with email. The device later became known as the BlackBerry 850. Had you been into mobile devices back then, you might have crowed about the LCD display, the 32-bit Intel 386 processor, 2MB of Intel flash memory, a wireless modem, triple-DES encryption technology, a full QWERTY keyboard, all powered for an entire day by a single "AA" battery.
Soon, everyone was hankering for a BlackBerry and corporations were buying them by the bucket full. This way, executives could stay in touch while out of the office. BlackBerry was soon on its way to becoming the largest smartphone manufacturer, a position it would hold for some time even following the introduction of the Apple iPhone on January 9th, 2007. Eventually, the touch screen revolution overwhelmed BlackBerry, and the company next month will introduce its last in-house designed handset code named the BlackBerry Mercury.
"The frequent and discontinuous nature of email usage is driving the need for a wearable, power-efficient device that can be constantly connected to the wireless network, while remaining unobtrusive to the user from both a physical and workflow perspective. Further, the confidential nature of enterprise email demands sophisticated encryption techniques that require significant processing power in the device.Intel's embedded microprocessor and flash memory technology provided a powerful and reliable foundation to meet these challenging design objectives."-Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, RIM
You can check out the original press release found below the sourcelink.
The BlackBerry 850, its first device, was unveiled 18 years ago today
Research In Motion Delivers Wearable Wireless Device Based on Embedded Intel Architecture
Handheld Device Is Optimized For Mobile Email Access
Waterloo, Ontario - In a separate announcement today, Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) announced the introduction and availability of BlackBerry™, a breakthrough wireless email solution for mobile professionals. As part of the BlackBerry offering, RIM introduced its newest wireless handheld device based on an embedded Intel® architecture. The BlackBerry Handheld is optimized for mobile email use and incorporates a 32-bit Intel386™ processor, 2 MB Intel Flash memory, integrated wireless modem, full keyboard, triple-DES encryption technology and email / organizer software. It is designed to be wearable, operate 24 hours per day and run on a single AA alkaline battery.
"The RIM device is an example of the ease of use, portability, security and battery life benefits that are enabled by products from the Embedded Microcomputer Division," said Tom Franz, General Manager and Vice President, of Intel's EMD division. Terry Gillett, Manager of Major Customer Programs in EMD indicated that RIM and Intel have worked together to define and develop the computing subsystem for the BlackBerry platform.
"The frequent and discontinuous nature of email usage is driving the need for a wearable, power-efficient device that can be constantly connected to the wireless network, while remaining unobtrusive to the user from both a physical and workflow perspective. Further, the confidential nature of enterprise email demands sophisticated encryption techniques that require significant processing power in the device," said Jim Balsillie, Chairman and Co-CEO of Research In Motion. "Intel's embedded microprocessor and flash memory technology provided a powerful and reliable foundation to meet these challenging design objectives."
The BlackBerry Handheld from Research In Motion is a breakthrough in integration of computing and wireless technologies. Its design includes over 15 million transistors integrated in a small, durable form factor. It delivers a powerful processor, 2 watt transceiver, integrated internal antenna, full keyboard, LCD display and ample memory to support multiple applications and data storage, all within a small device that fits in the palm of your hand (2.5" x 3.5" x 0.93"). In addition to the handheld, the BlackBerry solution provides customers with a PC docking cradle, desktop software and a flat-rate airtime package. For more information on BlackBerry, visit www.blackberry.net or call toll-free 1-877-255-2377.
About Research In Motion
Research In Motion is a world leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing wireless consumer and business-to-business electronic access technology for the mobile communications market. The company's current product portfolio includes revolutionary mobile email solutions, two-way pagers, wireless personal computer card adapters and embedded radio-modems. Based in Waterloo, Ontario and listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange, Research In Motion is a knowledge-based company with proven, leading technologies. Its customers include a diverse range of major multinational companies including wireless network suppliers, original equipment manufacturers and value-added resellers. Web site: www.rim.net
Research In Motion, RIM, the RIM logo, BlackBerry and the BlackBerry logo are trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. Research In Motion and RIM are registered, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. All other brands, products and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.