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BlackBerry is a line of smartphone devices developed and designed by Research In Motion (RIM). The first BlackBerry smartphone was released in 1999. The latestBlackBerry 7 devices were announced in the Fall of 2010.
BlackBerry devices are smartphones, which are designed to function as personal digital assistants , portable media players , internet browsers, gaming devices, cameras and much more. They are primarily known for their ability to send and receive (push) email and instant messages while maintaining a high level of security through on-device message encryption. BlackBerry devices support a large variety of instant messaging features, with the most popular being the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger service.
BlackBerry accounts for 3% of mobile device sales worldwide in 2011, making its manufacturer RIM the sixth most popular device maker (25% of mobile device sales are smartphones). The consumer BlackBerry Internet Service is available in 91 countries worldwide on over 500 mobile service operators using various mobile technologies. As of October 2011, there were seventy million subscribers worldwide to BlackBerry. At present the Caribbean and Latin America, have the highest penetrations of BlackBerry smartphones worldwide– with up to about 45 per cent in the region having a RIM device.
Modern GSM -based BlackBerry handhelds incorporate an ARM 7, 9 or ARM 11 processor, while older BlackBerry 950 and 957 handhelds used Intel 80386 processors. The latest BlackBerry models called " Torch " (Torch 9850/9860, Torch 9810, and Bold9900/9930) have a 1.2 GHz MSM8255 Snapdragon processor , 768 MB system memory), and 8 GB of on-board storage. All BlackBerry smartphones after OS 5support up to 32 GB microSD cards.
The first BlackBerry device, the 850, was introduced in 1999 as a two-way pager in Munich, Germany.The name BlackBerry was coined by the marketing company Lexicon Branding .
In 2003, the more commonly known smartphone BlackBerry wasreleased, which supports push email, mobile telephone, text messaging, Internet faxing, Web browsing and other wireless information services. It is an example of a convergent device. The original BlackBerry devices, theRIM 850 and 857, used the DataTac network.
BlackBerry first made headway in the marketplace by concentrating on email. RIM currently offers BlackBerry email service to non-BlackBerry devices, such as the Palm Treo, through its BlackBerry Connect software.
The original BlackBerry device had a monochrome display, but all current models have color displays.All models, except for the Storm series and the all-touch Torch 9850/9860 had a built-in QWERTY keyboard, optimized for "thumbing", the use of only the thumbs to type. The Storm 1 and Storm 2 include a SureType keypad for typing. Originally, system navigation was achieved with the use of a scroll wheel mounted on the right side of phones prior to the8700. The trackwheel was replacedby the trackball with the introduction of the Pearl series which allowed for 4 way scrolling. The trackball was replaced by the optical trackpad what people now use as thumb pad with the introduction of the Curve 8500 series. Models made to use iDEN networks such as Nextel and Mike also incorporate a push-to-talk (PTT) feature, similar to a two-way radio.
The operating system used by BlackBerry devices is a proprietary multitasking environment developed by RIM. The operating system is designed for use of inputdevices such as the track wheel, track ball, and track pad. The OS provides support for Java MIDP 1.0 and WAP 1.2. Previous versions allowed wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server email and calendar, as well as with Lotus Domino email. OS 5.0 provides a subset of MIDP 2.0, and allows complete wireless activationand synchronization with Exchangeemail, calendar, tasks, notes and contacts, and adds support for Novell GroupWise and Lotus Notes . The BlackBerry Curve 9360, BlackBerry Torch 9810, Bold 9900/9930, and Torch 9850/9860 feature the most recent BlackBerry OS 7 as of October 2011).
Third-party developers can write software using these APIs, and proprietary BlackBerry APIs as well. Any application that makes use of certain restricted functionality mustbe digitally signed so that it can be associated to a developer account at RIM. This signing procedure guarantees the authorship of an application but does not guarantee the quality or security of the code. RIM provides tools for developing applications and themes for BlackBerry. Applications and themes can be loaded onto BlackBerry devices through BlackBerry App World, Over The Air (OTA) through the BlackBerry mobilebrowser, or through BlackBerry Desktop Manager.
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