Although not as ubiquitous as they once were, BlackBerry smartphones remain among the best rated on the market as business tools.
With this market in mind, the BlackBerry Hub gathers users' Twitter, Linkedin, BBM and emails in a single location with a view to making it easier to stay in the loop.
Although traditionally associated with physical QWERTY keyboards, BlackBerry phones come in touchscreen models too. BlackBerry Touch & Type smartphones feature a combination of the two text-entry modes.
Now powered by the modern BlackBerry 10 operating system, BlackBerry smartphones feature batteries that provide up to 25 hours of life and stripped-down browsers with unlimited tabs that remove page clutter to make them easier to read and use.
BlackBerrys also offer apps and games. And although there's not the same depth of choice as there is with Android and the iPhone, many of the biggest titles make it to the BlackBerry Market app store.
BlackBerry was founded by Research In Motion (RIM), a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. RIM was founded in 1984 in Waterloo, Ontario and now operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
The phones got their name after an employee claimed that the buttons which adorned them resembled the “tiny seeds on a strawberry”. And so it was that this name was chosen ahead of the previously mooted names of LeapFrog and PocketLink.
Since their launch in 1999 as two-way pagers, BlackBerries have over the years garnered a number of awards, including the Most Innovative Wireless Device prize at the Andrew Seybold Choice Awards as well as the LAPTOP magazine Editor’s Choice Award for the Curve series.
In 2010 BlackBerry expanded into the tablet market with the BlackBerry Tab and in 2013 it reinvented its smartphone operating system that attempts to blend mass market appeal with the core business functionality for which BlackBerry phones are known.