BlackBerry: Definition, Examples


BlackBerry is a line of smartphones, tablets, and services originally developed and designed by the Canadian company BlackBerry Limited. The BlackBerry device was known for its distinctive physical keyboard and secure email messaging capabilities. However, in recent years, they’ve transitionally shifted to licensing arrangements for their BlackBerry brand, allowing other manufacturers to produce phones using their technology and brand.


The phonetic spelling of BlackBerry is: /ˈblækˌbɛri/

Key Takeaways

  1. BlackBerry was once a market leader in the smartphone industry, known for its high-quality keypad devices that were largely aimed at business professionals.
  2. Despite the company’s early successes, BlackBerry was not able to effectively compete against iOS and Android platforms in the context of rapidly evolving consumer preferences for touch-screen smartphones.
  3. Today, BlackBerry pivoted its business focus toward software and services, with a particular emphasis on security, privacy, and enterprise solutions.


The term “BlackBerry” is significant in the field of technology because it refers to one of the pioneers in smartphone technology and mobile email solutions. BlackBerry, a Canadian company formerly known as Research In Motion (RIM), revolutionized the smartphone market in the early 2000s with its range of BlackBerry smartphones. Known for their robust security features, physical QWERTY keyboards, and efficient email handling, BlackBerry devices were praised for enhancing productivity, particularly in the business world. Their secure network, BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), even made them the preferred choice for government agencies. Today, while BlackBerry’s presence in the hardware sector has diminished, its legacy marked a vital turning point in the mobile communication era and the company continues to be a player in software and security solutions.


BlackBerry, originally known as Research In Motion (RIM), is a telecommunications company known for the development of the BlackBerry brand of smartphones and tablets. The BlackBerry device was one of the first to prioritize email functions and internet connectivity along with voice and text communication, earning it the nickname “CrackBerry” at the height of its popularity with business professionals. The main purpose of a BlackBerry device was to serve as a complete business hub in a pocket-sized format. With features including email, messaging, a web browser, and later, applications via BlackBerry App World, the device catered to the on-the-go nature of today’s businesses.The BlackBerry achieved its strong base of loyal users through its most defining feature: the unique, tactile QWERTY keyboard. This feature, coupled with its groundbreaking secure environment, stood the BlackBerry apart from other smartphones of the time. Moreover, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server provided key security and management features to corporates, which permitted IT departments to control the device’s use within the company. This made BlackBerry a top choice for businesses, prioritizing streamlined communication, secure exchange of information, and increased mobile productivity.


1. BlackBerry Mobile Phones: BlackBerry Limited, known for its line of business-oriented smartphones, became a popular choice among business professionals and government officials due to its advanced security features. BlackBerry mobile phones integrated email, texting, and internet browsing facilities in one device which were less common in a pre-iPhone era. 2. BlackBerry Messenger (BBM): BBM was one of the first instant messaging platforms that allowed BlackBerry users to communicate in real-time. Given its security features, it was extensively used within corporate, government, and law enforcement organizations. 3. BlackBerry Enterprise Server: This is a mid-ware program that allows businesses to integrate their BlackBerry devices with their organization’s enterprise systems. BlackBerry Enterprise Server provided mobile data access, controlled access to critical data, and promoted cost efficiency by reducing the need for physical workspaces and promoting remote work capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is a BlackBerry?A: BlackBerry is a line of smartphones, tablets, and services originally designed and marketed by Canadian company BlackBerry Limited. These are known for their secure email and messaging capabilities.Q: Is BlackBerry owned by an American company?A: As of 2020, BlackBerry smartphones, apps, and services are under the ownership of BlackBerry Limited’s licensing partner, BlackBerry Mobile, which is owned by Texas-based company OnwardMobility.Q: Does BlackBerry still produce smartphones?A: As of 2020’s end, BlackBerry has stated it will not be producing any new smartphones. However, OnwardMobility unveiled plans for a 5G BlackBerry smartphone with a physical keyboard to be brought to market in the first half of 2021.Q: What is Blackberry known for?A: BlackBerry is best known for their high security. They are popular among corporations and government agencies that require secure data communication.Q: What operating system do BlackBerry smartphones use?A: Earlier BlackBerry devices used their proprietary OS, BlackBerry OS. Later devices use Android OS with some proprietary software for added security.Q: Are BlackBerry phones touch screen?A: While BlackBerry started with phones that used physical keyboard and a rollerball for navigation, several later models switched to touchscreen input, or used a combination of both a touchscreen and a physical keyboard.Q: How can I update my BlackBerry smartphone?A: Depends on the operating system of your device. For BlackBerry OS, the device can be updated via the BlackBerry Desktop Software. For Android-based BlackBerry devices, updates can be performed over-the-air via the phone’s settings menu.Q: What are some of the applications unique to BlackBerry devices?A: BlackBerry devices have some unique applications such as BlackBerry Hub (a message center for all emails, texts and notifications), BlackBerry Messenger (an instant messaging app), and BlackBerry Enterprise Server (a mobile device management solution).

Related Technology Terms

  • Smartphone
  • BBM (BlackBerry Messenger)
  • QWERTY Keyboard
  • BlackBerry Enterprise Server
  • BlackBerry OS

Sources for More Information

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