Blackberry History | The Old Giant in the Smartphone Industry

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

Blackberry Phone History

Blackberry history is the one that shaped today’s smartphone concept. Smartphones allow us access to the outside world, much like our sense organs, but without any physical restraints.

But phones weren’t always like this. They used to be simplistic devices that allowed you to make and receive calls and text messages. When and how did this all change?

It may be hard to pinpoint a specific instance of this revolution, but one can always agree that Blackberry played a considerable historical role. So let’s take a look at the legacy of this revolutionary manufacturer.

Blackberry Pager: Revolution History

Blackberry, as we know it today, started as a pager manufacturer known as Interactive. It was one of the bestselling pagers in the 1990s.

They manufactured a few products within its blackberry timeline models, all of which saw phenomenal success and procured large multi-million dollar orders from large corporate.

But Inter@active was not satisfied with just being another player in the market and instead, wanted to push boundaries.

That’s when they re-branded themselves as Blackberry and started manufacturing pagers that could page emails as well. This started their email-focused revolution, which led to all the fame and success they saw through the 2000s.

Blackberry History Email Orientation

Post their success in the world of pagers, Blackberry finally entered the smartphone market in 2002 with their first mobile phone and became the company we know.

There were two crucial selling points for this new phone. Firstly, it was optimized for emails, which was all the rage in the corporate world. As a result, the Blackberry phone became the staple of every working professional.

But this wasn’t the only revolution, and this brings us to the second point, which is a wireless service. This meant that users could browse the internet on their phones, a feature unheard of at that time.

Blackberry History Massive strides

Blackberry’s innovations were not limited to software. A large part of their success came from their innovative hardware.

These innovations were mainly 2 fold. The first was the shape of the phone. Most phones of that time were elongated rectangles, whereas Blackberry was a shorter, stouter rectangle.

This was due to the second revolution, which was the keyboard. Most phones of that time had a numerical keyboard, whereas Blackberry had the now-common QWERTY keyboard.

The name blackberry was inspired by the keys, which resembled the blackberry fruits. This setup was optimal for thumbing, which is typing with only thumbs.

Blackberry History Marginal Optimization

Blackberry consistently optimized its products throughout its history. This started with their screens.

The vast majority of the screen made by Blackberry, and most other manufacturers those days, were monochrome. As this trend started to change, Blackberry too jumped on board and adopted color screens.

The next revolution came in the form of touch screens. Blackberry had an innovative approach to this. In the earlier days of touch screens, their main form factor stayed the same, but the screens became touch-sensitive.

Later they moved to a full-size touch screen but with sliding keyboards. Al their keyboards even had unique, convenient gesture controls.

Blackberry History Competition

Unfortunately, as with all modern companies in a capitalist structure, Blackberry faced massive competition in its history.

They managed to stay on top of this competition for over a decade with innovations that built the blackberry history as we know it today. But soon, as market trends and preferences changed, Blackberry’s inability or unwillingness to adapt led to its first loss in 2013, where Nokia Lumia beat it for the first time.

This trend continued, and Blackberry kept losing market share. This led to the eventual sale and restructuring of the company, which was initially developed and manufactured by Blackberry Ltd. and was sold to TCL, BB Merah Putih, and Optimus Infracom.


The last part might seem like the end of an era, but that is not the case. Blackberry still makes phones and if you are one of the few who are always charmed by their quirks, here is a list of phones by them that are still available in 2019:

  • Blackberry Key 2: This phone is Blackberry’s flagship today. It is the perfect mix of Blackberry’s old-world charm and today’s modern technology. It has that iconic keyboard with all the required optimization, such as swiping the keyboard for on-screen swiping, scrolling, and selections among others. It is ergonomically designed for the best possible grip and has a state-of-the-art camera. The best part is that it runs android and has all the bells and whistles, with some optimization on top that makes it genuinely optimal for the modern businessman.
  • Blackberry Key 1: Blackberry Key one is also a modern smartphone with the old-world charm of Blackberry. It has all the features of Key 2 and some additional, unique differences. For instance, it has a 256 GB memory which is augmented by the capacity to read a microSD card. Further, it has a stunning battery life, and it has some of the best security features on the market. It leads many to believe that it is the safest Android phone in the market.
  • Older Models: There are many older models which may still be available as refurbished or resold phones. This includes the Blackberry evolve or the infamous blackberry passport, among others. The plus side is that you may even get them for a relatively lower cost when compared to what they cost when they were new. So if you are looking for an older model, your bases are covered in that regard as well.


Blackberry is an iconic company that revolutionized how the world uses mobile devices. Is this the entire legacy of Blackberry?

This is a question yet to be answered, but all trends indicate that it might not be the case and that they will continue their efforts to rebuild themselves and come back stronger than ever before.

This process involves making ever-improving phones, which is a blessing to the consumer.