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This article is about the wireless email device. For the fruit, see Blackberry. For other uses, see Blackberry (disambiguation).
Blackberry Logo.svg
BlackBerry 7 Smartphones
Manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM)
Compatible networks GSM 850/900/1800/1900
Dimensions 50 × 106.7 × 14.5 mm[1]
Weight 87.9 to 155 g depending on model
Operating system BlackBerry OS
Memory 64 MB – 768 MB reserved application memory, 4 GB media memory on Storm models, expandable to 32 GB via microSD
Display 640 × 480 pixels
(Bold 9900/Bold 9930)
800 × 480(Torch 9850/9860)
600 × 480 (Torch 9810)
480 × 360 pixels
(Curve 8900/Tour 9630/Bold 9650/Bold 9700/Bold 9780)
360 × 480 pixels (Storm 9500/Torch 9800 )
480 × 320 pixels (Bold 9000)
360 × 400 pixels (Pearl 3G)
320 × 240 pixels (8300/8500/8700/8800/Curve 3G)
240 × 260 pixels
(7100/8100 series)
240 × 160 pixels (7200/7300 series)
Ringtones & notifications Polyphonic, MP3, MIDI
Connectivity microSD, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC

BlackBerry is a line of mobile email and smartphone devices developed and designed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) since 1999.[2][3]

BlackBerry devices are smartphones, designed to function as personal digital assistants, portable media players, internet browsers, gaming devices, and much more. They are primarily known for their ability to send and receive (push) email and instant messages while maintaining a high level of security through on-device message encryption. Blackberry devices support a large variety of instant messaging features, including BlackBerry Messenger.

BlackBerry commands a 11.7% share of worldwide smartphone sales, making it the fourth most popular device manufacturer after Google, Sony Ericsson, and Apple.[4] The consumer BlackBerry Internet Service is available in 91 countries worldwide on over 500 mobile service operators using various mobile technologies.[5] As of October 2011, there were seventy million subscribers worldwide to BlackBerry.[6]

Modern GSM-based BlackBerry handhelds incorporate an ARM 7, 9 or ARM 11 processor,[7] while older BlackBerry 950 and 957 handhelds used Intel 80386 processors. The latest BlackBerry models (Torch 9850/9860, Torch 9810, and Bold 9900/9930) have a 1.2 GHz MSM8255 Snapdragon Processor, 768 MB system memory), and 8 GB of on-board storage.[8][9] All BlackBerrys after OS 5 support up to 32 GB microSD cards.



[edit] History

The first BlackBerry device, the 850, was introduced in 1999 as a two-way pager in Munich, Germany. The name BlackBerry was coined by the marketing company Lexicon Branding.

In 2003, the more commonly known smartphone BlackBerry was released, which supports push email, mobile telephone, text messaging, Internet faxing, Web browsing and other wireless information services. It is an example of a convergent device. The original BlackBerry devices, the RIM 850 and 857, used the DataTac network.

BlackBerry first made headway in the marketplace by concentrating on email. RIM currently offers BlackBerry email service to non-BlackBerry devices, such as the Palm Treo, through its BlackBerry Connect software.

The original BlackBerry device had a monochrome display, but all current models have color displays. All models, except for the Storm series and the all-touch Torch 9850 had a built-in QWERTY keyboard, optimized for “thumbing“, the use of only the thumbs to type. The Storm 1 and Storm 2 include a SureType keypad for typing. Originally, system navigation was achieved with the use of a scroll wheel mounted on the right side of phones prior to the 8700. The trackwheel was replaced by the trackball with the introduction of the Pearl series which allowed for 4 way scrolling. The trackball was replaced by the optical trackpad with the introduction of the Curve 8500 series. Models made to use iDEN networks such as Nextel and Mike also incorporate a push-to-talk (PTT) feature, similar to a two-way radio.

[edit] Operating system

Main article: BlackBerry OS

BlackBerry 7.0 running on a Blackberry Torch 9860

The operating system used by BlackBerry devices is a proprietary multitasking environment developed by RIM. The operating system is designed for use of input devices such as the track wheel, track ball, and track pad. The OS provides support for Java MIDP 1.0 and WAP 1.2. Previous versions allowed wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server email and calendar, as well as with Lotus Domino email. OS 5.0 provides a subset of MIDP 2.0, and allows complete wireless activation and synchronization with Exchange email, calendar, tasks, notes and contacts, and adds support for Novell GroupWise and Lotus Notes. The Blackberry Curve 9360, Blackberry Torch 9810, Bold 9900/9930, and Torch 9850/9860 feature the most recent Blackberry OS 7 as of October 2011).

Third-party developers can write software using these APIs, and proprietary BlackBerry APIs as well. Any application that makes use of certain restricted functionality must be digitally signed so that it can be associated to a developer account at RIM. This signing procedure guarantees the authorship of an application but does not guarantee the quality or security of the code. RIM provides tools for developing applications and themes for BlackBerry. Applications and themes can be loaded onto BlackBerry devices through BlackBerry App World, Over The Air (OTA) through the BlackBerry mobile browser, or through BlackBerry Desktop Manager.

[edit] Supported software

Further information: BlackBerry App World

[edit] BlackBerry Messenger

BlackBerry devices use the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger, also known as BBM, software for sending and receiving encrypted instant messages, voice notes, images and videos via BlackBerry PIN. Some of the features of BBM include groups, bar-code scanning, lists, shared calendars, BBM Music and integration with apps and games using the BBM social platform.

[edit] Third-party software

Third-party software available for use on BlackBerry devices includes full-featured database management systems, which can be used to support customer relationship management clients and other applications that must manage large volumes of potentially complex data.[10]

In March 2011, RIM announced an optional Android player that could play applications developed for the android system would be available for the Blackberry Playbook, RIM’s first entry in the tablet market.[11][12][13]

On August 24, 2011 Bloomberg News reported unofficial rumors that BlackBerry devices would be able to run Android applications when RIM brings QNX and the Android App Player to BlackBerry.[14][15][16][17] On October 20, 2011 RIM officially announced that android applications could run, unmodified, on the blackberry tablet and the newest blackberry phones, using the newest version of its operating system.[18][19]

[edit] CPU

The latest Blackberry devices such as the Bold 9900/9930, Torch 9810, 9860/9860 feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz. Entry-level models, such as the Curve 9360, feature a Marvell PXA940 clocked at 800 MHz. Previous Blackberry devices, such as the BlackBerry 9000 series, were equipped with XScale 624 MHz processors.[20] The BlackBerry Curve 8520 featured a 512 MHz processor, while the Bold 9700 featured a newer version of the Bold 9000’s processor, but is clocked at the same speed. Early BlackBerry devices, such as the BlackBerry 950, used Intel 80386-based processors.[21][22] BlackBerry 8000 series smartphones, such as the 8700 and the Pearl, are based on the 312 MHz ARM XScale ARMv5TE PXA900. An exception to this is the BlackBerry 8707 which is based on the 80 MHz Qualcomm 3250 chipset; this was due to the PXA900 chipset not supporting 3G networks. The 80 MHz processor in the BlackBerry 8707 meant the device was often slower to download and render web pages over 3G than the 8700 was over EDGE networks.

[edit] Connectivity

Multiple BlackBerrys for use at the children’s museum, Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada (The Museum)

[edit] BlackBerry Enterprise Server

BlackBerry smartphones can be integrated into an organization’s email system through a software package called BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Versions of BES are available for Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise. Google has made a Connector for BES which makes BES available for Google Apps as well. While individual users may be able to use a wireless provider’s email services without having to install BES themselves, organizations with multiple users usually run BES on their own network. Some third-party companies provide hosted BES solutions. Every BlackBerry has an ID called a BlackBerry PIN, which is used to identify the device to the BES. BlackBerry now provides a free BES software called BES Express (BESX).[23]

BES acts as an email relay for corporate accounts so that users always have access to their email. The software monitors the user’s local Inbox, and when a new message comes in, it picks up the message and passes it to RIM’s Network Operations Center (NOC). The messages are then relayed to the user’s wireless provider, which in turn delivers them to the user’s BlackBerry device.

This is called push email, because all new emails, contacts, task entries, memopad entries, and calendar entries are pushed out to the BlackBerry device automatically and instantaneously (as opposed to the user synchronizing the data manually or having the device poll the server at intervals). BlackBerry also supports polling email, through third party applications. The messaging system built in to the BlackBerry only understands how to receive messages from a BES or the BIS, these services handle the connections to the user’s mail providers. Device storage also enables the mobile user to access all data off-line in areas without wireless service. When the user reconnects to wireless service, the BES sends the latest data.

An included feature in the newer models of the BlackBerry is the ability for it to quickly track your current location through trilateration without the use of GPS, thus saving battery life and time. Trilateration can be used as a quick, less battery intensive way to provide location-aware applications with the co-ordinates of the user. However, the accuracy of BlackBerry trilateration is less than that of GPS due to a number of factors, including cell tower blockage by large buildings, mountains, or distance.

BES also provides handhelds with TCP/IP connectivity accessed through a component called MDS (Mobile Data System) Connection Service.[24] This allows for custom application development using data streams on BlackBerry devices based on the Sun Microsystems Java ME platform.

In addition, BES provides network security, in the form of Triple DES[25] or, more recently, AES[26] encryption[27][28] of all data (both email and MDS traffic) that travels between the BlackBerry handheld and a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Most providers offer flat monthly pricing for unlimited data between BlackBerry units and BES. In addition to receiving email, organizations can make intranets or custom internal applications with unmetered traffic.

With more recent versions of the BlackBerry platform, the MDS is no longer a requirement for wireless data access. Starting with OS 3.8 or 4.0, BlackBerry handhelds can access the Internet (i.e. TCP/IP access) without an MDS – formerly only email and WAP access was possible without a BES/MDS. The BES/MDS is still required for secure email, data access, and applications that require WAP from carriers that do not allow WAP access.

[edit] BlackBerry Internet Service

The primary alternative to using BlackBerry Enterprise Server is to use the BlackBerry Internet Service. BlackBerry Internet Service, or BIS is available in 91 countries internationally. BlackBerry Internet Service was developed primarily for the average consumer rather than for the business consumer. BlackBerry Internet Service allows POP3 and IMAP email integration for an individual personal user. However, the integration features only one-way synchronization; changes to messages on the device are not reflected back to the email server. BlackBerry Internet Service allows up to 10 email accounts to be accessed, including many popular email accounts such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL. BlackBerry Internet Service also allows for the function of the push capabilities in various other BlackBerry Applications. Various applications developed by RIM for BlackBerry utilize the push capabilities of BIS, such as the Instant Messaging clients, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. Social Networks Facebook, Myspace and Twitter’s notification system is accessed through BIS, allowing for push notifications for them.

[edit] Phones with BlackBerry email client

Several non-BlackBerry mobile phones have been released featuring the BlackBerry email client which connects to BlackBerry servers. Many of these phones have full QWERTY keyboards

[edit] The BlackBerry Store

In December 2007 a BlackBerry Store opened in Farmington Hills, Michigan. As of 2009[update], it is the only BlackBerry store in existence, but it was not the first. There were three prior attempts at opening BlackBerry stores in Toronto, London, and Charlotte,[29] but they eventually folded.[30] The store offers BlackBerry device models from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint, the major U.S. carriers which offer smartphones.

[edit] Models

Blackberry Torch 9860

Original BlackBerry

Main article: List of BlackBerry products

Blackberry 7 devices:

  • BlackBerry Bold series (2011): BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930/9790
  • BlackBerry Torch series (2011): BlackBerry Torch 9810
  • BlackBerry Torch series (2011): BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860
  • BlackBerry Curve series (2011): BlackBerry 9350/9360/9370/9380

Blackberry 6 devices:

  • BlackBerry Torch series (2010): BlackBerry Torch 9800
  • BlackBerry Curve series (2010): BlackBerry 9300/9330
  • BlackBerry Style 9670 (2010)
  • BlackBerry Pearl series (2010): BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9100/9105
  • BlackBerry Bold series (2010-2011): BlackBerry Bold 9780/9788

Blackberry 5 devices:

Blackberry 4 and earlier devices:

  • Early pager models: 850, 857, 950, 957
  • Monochrome Java-based series: 5000, 6000
  • First color series: 7200, 7500, 7700
  • First SureType phone series: 7100

[edit] BlackBerry PIN

BlackBerry PIN is an eight character hexadecimal identification number assigned to each BlackBerry device. PINs cannot be changed manually on the device (though BlackBerry technicians are able to reset or update a PIN server-side), and are locked to each specific BlackBerry. BlackBerrys can message each other using the PIN directly or by using the BlackBerry Messenger application. BlackBerry PINs are tracked by BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, and the BlackBerry Internet Service, and are used to direct messages to a BlackBerry device. Emails and any other messages, such as those from the BlackBerry Push Service, are typically directed to a BlackBerry’s PIN. The message can then be routed by a RIM Network Operations Center, and sent to a carrier, which will deliver the message the last mile to the device.

[edit] RIM patent infringement litigation

In 2000 NTP sent notice of its wireless email patents to a number of companies and offered to license the patents to them. NTP brought a patent-infringement lawsuit against one of the companies, Research In Motion, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. This court is well known for its strict adherence to timetables and deadlines, sometimes referred to as the “rocket docket“, and is particularly efficient at trying patent cases.[31]

The jury eventually found that the NTP patents were valid, that RIM had infringed them, that the infringement had been “willful,” and that the infringement had cost NTP $33 million in damages (the greater of a reasonable royalty or lost profits). The judge, James R. Spencer, increased the damages to $53 million as a punitive measure because the infringement had been willful. He also instructed RIM to pay NTP’s legal fees of $4.5 million and issued an injunction ordering RIM to cease and desist infringing the patents. This would have shut down the BlackBerry systems in the US.[32] RIM appealed all of the findings of the court. The injunction and other remedies were stayed pending the outcome of the appeals.

In March 2005 during the appeals process, RIM and NTP tried to negotiate a settlement of their dispute; the settlement was to be for $450 million. Negotiations broke down due to other issues. On June 10, 2005, the matter returned to the courts. In early November 2005 the US Department of Justice filed a brief requesting that RIM’s service be allowed to continue because of the large number of BlackBerry users in the US Federal Government.[33]

In January 2006 the US Supreme Court refused to hear RIM’s appeal of the holding of liability for patent infringement, and the matter was returned to a lower court. The prior granted injunction preventing all RIM sales in the US and use of the BlackBerry device might have been enforced by the presiding district court judge had the two parties been unable to reach a settlement.

On February 9, 2006, the US Department of Defense (DOD) filed a brief stating that an injunction shutting down the BlackBerry service while excluding government users was unworkable. The DOD also stated that the BlackBerry was crucial for national security given the large number of government users.

On February 9, 2006, RIM announced that it had developed software workarounds that would not infringe the NTP patents, and would implement those if the injunction was enforced.

On March 3, 2006, after a stern warning from Judge Spencer, RIM and NTP announced that they had settled their dispute. Under the terms of the settlement, RIM has agreed to pay NTP $612.5 million (USD) in a “full and final settlement of all claims.” In a statement, RIM said that “all terms of the agreement have been finalized and the litigation against RIM has been dismissed by a court order this afternoon. The agreement eliminates the need for any further court proceedings or decisions relating to damages or injunctive relief.” The settlement amount is believed low by some analysts, because of the absence of any future royalties on the technology in question.[34]

[edit] Certification

A first generation BlackBerry Bold

  • BCESA (BlackBerry Certified Enterprise Sales Associate, BCESA40 in full) is a BlackBerry Certification for professional users of RIM (Research In Motion) BlackBerry wireless email devices.

The Certification requires the user to pass several exams relating to the BlackBerry Device, all its functions including Desktop software and providing technical support to Customers of BlackBerry Devices.

The BCESA, BlackBerry Certified Enterprise Sales Associate qualification, is the first of three levels of professional BlackBerry Certification.

  • BCTA (BlackBerry Certified Technical Associate)
  • BlackBerry Certified Support Associate T2

More information on certifications is on the website.[35]

The BlackBerry Technical Certifications available are:

  • BlackBerry Certified Enterprise Server Consultant (BCESC)
  • BlackBerry Certified Server Support Technician (BCSST)
  • BlackBerry Certified Support Technician (BCST)

[edit] Use

The encryption features make it extremely safe and Blackberry devices suitable for use by state forces

[edit] The use by government forces

An example is the British police, which has allowed the increase in the presence of police officers along the streets and a reduction in public spending, given that each agent could perform the work desk directly via the mobile device,[36] as well as in several other areas and situations.[37]

[edit] President Barack Obama’s use

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, became known for his dependence on a BlackBerry device for communication during his 2008 presidential campaign. Despite the security issues, he insisted on using it even after inauguration,[38] becoming the first President of the United States to use mobile email.[39] This was seen by some as akin to a “celebrity endorsement,” which marketing experts have estimated to be worth between $25 and $50 million.[40]

[edit] Competition

The primary competitors of the BlackBerry are smartphones running Android, iOS, webOS, and Windows Phone 7. Blackberry users have defended its utility over the iPhone,[41] supporting its physical keyboard, secure email, and applications such as BlackBerry Messenger. RIM reported in June 2010 that they had sold up to 100 million BlackBerry phones, including record sales in their first trimester.[42]

[edit] Government regulation

Some countries have expressed reservations about BlackBerry’s strong encryption and the fact that data is routed through Research In Motion‘s servers, which are outside the legal jurisdictions of those countries. The United Arab Emirates [43] considering the BlackBerry as a “security threat” for this reason, with the former having earlier been reported as trying to get users to install an “update” on their BlackBerry devices, ostensibly for performance enhancement, but which turned out to be spyware that allowed phone call and email monitoring. The update and subsequent performance deteriorating spyware were reportedly generated by UAE company Etisalat, about which it commented minimally.[44] When questioned in a BBC Click interview about how Research in Motion has responded to the demands of India and other governments in the Middle East, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis objected to the questioning and said the interview was over.[45]

Other countries threatening to ban the use of the BlackBerry Messenger include Algeria, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

[edit] Barbados

In 2010 the government officials of Barbados announced a sharp increase in crime due to thefts of cell phones, with BlackBerrys being the usual target.[46] The Commissioner of police in the country announced steps were being taken to make stolen BlackBerry devices less attractive in the country.[47][48]

[edit] India

Indian authorities have asked RIM to provide means to access the encrypted data for calls to, from, or within India, following concerns that it could be used by terrorist and rebel groups to carry out attacks on India. In the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, terrorists used mobile and satellite phone technologies after which security agencies and the Indian government have become more strict and alert towards communication within the country. BlackBerry has indicated willingness to set up a server in India by October, 2010 and giving the country limited access to its encryption technology.[49] However, this will only apply to personal devices which route via RIM’s infrastructure: organisations providing their own BlackBerry Enterprise Server will continue to have encrypted message flow, to which even RIM themselves will not have access.[50] On January 31, 2011 India refused a limited access offer and demanded full access.[51]

RIM has a facility in Mumbai to help the government carry out lawful surveillance of its BlackBerry services.[52] RIM gave India access to its consumer services, including its Messenger services, in January 2011, but said it could not allow monitoring of its enterprise email. The Mumbai facility handles surveillance and requests lawful intercept requests, from India, for consumer services including the BlackBerry Messenger chat service. India can submit the name of a suspect its investigators want to wiretap, and RIM will return decoded messages for that individual, as long as it is satisfied the request has legal authorization.

India prefers an arrangement where it has the ability to decode messages itself, so that it can conduct surveillance without disclosing the names of suspects to RIM. India still has no method to intercept and decode BlackBerry enterprise email, which is used by corporate customers and features a higher level of encryption than consumer email and instant messaging.

[edit] Indonesia

On January 10, 2011 RIM agreed to install web filters in the Indonesian market, following the request by Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to filter pornographic websites.[53] On January 17, 2011 RIM met Indonesia’s Communications and Information Technology minister and signed a commitment to abide the law. The deadline was January 21, 2011.[54] Shortly before the deadline, Blackberry filtered all adult content in Indonesia.[55] Furthermore, RIM is in discussions with the Indonesian Ministry of Information to build a local server network of aggregrators to cut communications costs, to hire more local workers, and plans to establish 40 service centers in Indonesia.[56]

[edit] Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has since reportedly continued its service of BlackBerry Messenger.[57] Saudi Arabia has also threatened to ban the service, but it was reported close to reaching an agreement with RIM to set up a server for the service inside the Kingdom.[58]

[edit] United Arab Emirates

On August 1, 2010 Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) of The United Arab Emirates officially announced the suspension of BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry Email, and BlackBerry Web browsing services in the country as of October 11, 2010. This measure was taken due to failed attempts in having the service hosted locally as per the UAE Telecommunication regulations.

On October 8, 2010 the TRA officially announced that the BlackBerry services such as BBM, email, and web browsing will continue to work as before.[59]

[edit] Nicknames

BlackBerry is widely referred to as “CrackBerry” in Canada and the United States, which alludes to its excessive use by its owners and is a reference to the addictiveness of crack cocaine. Use of the term CrackBerry became so widespread that in November 2006 Webster’s New World College Dictionary named “crackberry” the “New Word of the Year.”[60]

[edit] Criticism

In October, 2011, BlackBerry users could not connect to the BlackBerry servers due to a major failure. The services were interrupted for almost 3 days in many parts of the world. BlackBerry had announced that it would give all its users free apps worth $100 in an attempt to express apology for its service disruption.[61]

RIM is also criticized by many governments including Indian Government for making it hard to spy on their users. The messages sent from BlackBerry are encrypted and hence difficult to track. However, the Department of Telecommunication in India have successfully decrypted messages sent over BlackBerry and therefore messages sent over BlackBerry phones can now be tracked.

[edit] See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: BlackBerry smartphones

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