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History of Major Blackberry Models from RIM

Updated on October 30, 2012

The Blackberry phone is one of the leading smartphones in the cell phone market today and it has been for quite some time. In the not-so-distant past, it was primarily the tool of high-powered business professionals who required an advanced phone to communicate with their offices when they were on the go. While many professionals do still rely on the Blackberry for meeting these needs, the phone is no longer solely for people in this niche market. As handsets in general have gotten more advanced, the average user has become increasingly interested in the using smartphones to take care of a variety of tasks including accessing the Internet, connecting to GPS and taking/sharing photos with the phone.

The latest Blackberry model, the Blackberry BOLD, really brings together the different features desired by both the professional and the average cell phone user to create a phone that all people could take an interest in using. However, it is not the only Blackberry phone to really lead the way in it's time. Let's take a look at some of the other major models of the Blackberry phone throughout history to see how these handsets have always been on the cutting edge:

Pager Models

Prior to 2001, the Blackberry wasn't actually a full-service phone but instead was basically a two-way pager system with a built-in thumb keyboard and limited HTML capabilities. It doesn't sound so great now but it was a forerunner in the market when it was first released.

5000 and 6000 Series Blackberry Phones

These phones began to be released around 2002 and set the stage for what the Blackberry handset from RIM was eventually going to become. These were the first Blackberry phones to run Java to transmit data (including email) over the 2G network. These were all monochrome phones that were geared towards the business professional but which were cutting-edge for their time.

7000 Series Blackberry Phones

These were the first Blackberry phones that offered a color screen for a more PC-like experience when using the phone to connect to the Internet. The majority of these were 16 MB models but there was one towards the end of the series (the 7290) that was 32 MB. This latter model was the first quad-band model as well as the first model that offered Bluetooth. This is when the Blackberry phone starts looking a lot more like what the majority of users are probably familiar with today.

7100 Series Blackberry Phones

There were a couple of interesting phones that were released that differed significantly from those phones that had come prior to them. Instead of relying on a standard Qwerty keyboard, the phones in this series offered predictive texting with 2 keys per button (similar to the t9 you may use when texting now but more accurate because there were only 2 keys per button instead of three). The real reason that this series of Blackberry phones is important to the lineup, though, is because they were the first phones to really be marketed to the average consumer rather than to the business professional.

8000 Series Blackberry Phones

The majority of the RIM Blackberry phones that people are familiar with today are those phones in the 8000 series. This series was aggressively marketed to the average consumer and marked the transition away from the Blackberry as a phone that was solely the domain of the high-powered professional. These are the phones that you are familiar with in terms of features such as built-in cameras, Wi-Fi capabilities, microSD memory card slots and so forth.

Some of the outstanding models within this series include:

  • Electron. These were large-screen phones with Bluetooth and speaker phone features that impressed consumers with its slick style and advanced email capabilities.
  • Pearl. Released in 2006, this was the first RIM Blackberry phone that offered a built-in camera and full-function media player. This is what the average consumer started to want in smartphones - a phone that can really do it all (and replace all of the other gadgets that get carried around like cameras and mp3 players).
  • Curve. This is one of the most popular RIM Blackberry phones today. It has all of the advanced features that you want from a cell phone including web browsing, GPS and mapping, instant messaging, organizational tools, camera and media player.

9000 Series: Blackberry Bold

The brand new phone that has come out is the Blackberry Bold which launches the 9000 series of the handset lineup and offers the features that we're looking for in a new-generation model. It has all of the advanced features that people familiar with the Pearl and the Curve models have come to expect from their Blackberry phones. This includes full HTML web browsing with advanced features including RSS feed support and online social networking capabilities. People who are interested in accessing the mobile web today are interested in the Blackberry Bold because of its ability to do so efficiently and effectively on the networks where this phone is offered

Basic Summary of RIM's Blackberry Handsets

As we can see from looking at the history of the Blackberry handset, RIM has always stayed ahead of the curve with its phones. From the days when email capabilities were being brought to users via a two-way pager system to the time now when people are pushing for full web browsing experiences on easy-to-use devices, RIM has really managed to satisfy the needs of the market that it targets. Whereas this market was once limited to professionals working in corporate positions, it is now open to the general public. The Blackberry handset has really become a phone that almost anyone can use and benefit from because of the diverse range of features that it offers which are all designed to simplify the user's life and make the phone a tool of convenience. Today the hot phone from RIM is the Blackberry Bold but it will only be a short matter of time before there is a new phone out by the company which will replace even this cutting-edge smartphone and keep the Blackberry handset ahead of the competition.


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  • Iberkenbosch profile image

    Iberkenbosch 6 years ago from Amsterdam, Netherlands

    I know this is a blackberry Hub, which was really nice to read. But you have to check out the new and improved Iphone5:

  • wyattdoominic profile image

    wyattdoominic 6 years ago from usa

    Thank you for your record. :) I Adore my Blackberry (just wrote a current hub on it, in fact) and honestly I only use several apps and only sparingly. I really like that it stands on its personal with out every one of the further things.

  • profile image

    blackberry housing 7 years ago

    great article, detailed than wiki. :)

  • adorababy profile image

    adorababy 7 years ago from Syracuse, NY

    I just bought my Bold 9700 and everything is so sweet. This will give the iphone a run for for its money.

  • profile image

    Tech Lover 8 years ago

    I just confuse choosing between BB and Iphone? any advice

  • profile image

    A.Mandal 8 years ago

    I am using blackberry 8520 and bsnl prepaid service provider but fade up with this phone as I am unable to get the facility of gprs without any data plan.

  • PMS9 profile image

    PMS9 8 years ago from India


  • SashaMcPherson profile image

    SashaMcPherson 8 years ago from LA

    Also know the benefits of using unlocked blackberry from here:

  • profile image 8 years ago

    This is going to sound weird but I hate Blackberry! You see I'm a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan and that sob(the seo or founder) tried buying our team and moving it to Canada So when I worked for Sprint I refused to sell them. Great hub though and good luck!

  • Cheeky Girl profile image

    Cassandra Mantis 8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    Totally cools mobile phones! Great Hub here! Great history of Blackberry Phones!

  • tometeixeiravr profile image

    tometeixeiravr 8 years ago


  • Chris Crow profile image

    Chris Crow 8 years ago

    This is a nice article. Thanks.