BlackBerry is a line of mobile e-mail and smartphone devices developed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM). While including typical smartphone applications (address book, calendar, to-do lists, etc., as well as telephone capabilities on newer models), the BlackBerry is primarily known for its ability to send and receive Internet e-mail wherever it can access a mobile network of certain cellular phone carriers. It commands a 20.8% share of worldwide smartphone sales, making it the second most popular platform after Nokia's Symbian OS, and is the most popular smartphone among U.S. business users. The service is available in North America and in most European countries.
The first BlackBerry device was introduced in 1999 as a two-way pager. In 2002, the more commonly known smartphone BlackBerry was released, which supports push e-mail, mobile telephone, text messaging, Internet faxing, Web browsing and other wireless information services. It is an example of a convergent device.
BlackBerry first made headway in the marketplace by concentrating on e-mail. RIM currently offers BlackBerry e-mail service to non-BlackBerry devices, such as the Palm Treo, through the BlackBerry Connect software. The original BlackBerry device had a monochrome display, but all current models have color displays.
Most current BlackBerry models have a built-in QWERTY keyboard, optimized for "thumbing", the use of only the thumbs to type, and there are also several models that include a SureType keypad for typing, and two models that are full touch-screen devices with no physical keyboard. System navigation is primarily accomplished by a scroll ball, or "trackball" in the middle of the device, older devices used a track wheel on the side and newer devices like the Blackberry Bold 9700 or Curve 8520/8530 use a small pad for navigation "trackpad" instead of a trackball. Some models (currently, those manufactured for use with iDEN networks such as Nextel and Mike) also incorporate a Push-to-Talk (PTT) feature, similar to a two-way radio.