Research in Motion the Handset Manufacturer of the Blackberry Smartphone

Research in Motion manufacturers the Blackberry smartphone which took the smartphone industry by storm in 1999. This Canadian firm is known for smartphone security especially with your email.

Research In Motion was founded in Waterloo, Ontario in 1984 where they developed a two-way paging and wireless email network. This system is at the heart of what makes Blackberries so popular with consumers.

The RIM Blackberry has been in the news because foreign governments (United Arab Emirates) want access to the encrypted emails which are sent over the Blackberry smartphone servers but are not accessible. The governments argue it is a case of national security but founders of RIM, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have not given in. As a consumer this is great news because it means your private data and communications remain private and are not given over to the government.

Research in Motion went public in 1998 on the Toronto Stock Exchange with the symbol RIM. And the rest is history!

The Blackberry smartphone was released shortly afterwards on a variety of networks:

  • GSM
  • CDMA
  • iDEN.

The smartphones took off immediately in the corporate setting because now companies could communicate with their employees around the clock with the email system found within Blackberry devices.

In many circles, you will hear the term "Crackberry" which simply means a person who is addicted to their RIM Blackberry. This is a jab at crack cocaine addicts because they feel as though they cannot live without their drug.

Key Company Features

RIM stands out for its superior email. Whenever you ask someone what is a key feature that they enjoy on their Blackberries you will always hear the email is great. We can attribute the great email to RIM's Blackberry Internet Service.

I have owned the Sprint Blackberry and the email is great. Let me give you an example.

I could have my Blackberry next to me while on my computer using gmail and in virtually every case my Blackberry would receive my email before it even reached my computer. Now that is fast email and yes, my internet was high speed for all the doubters. So internet speed was not a factor.

Blackberry Messenger aka BBM was my Crackberry addiction.

BBM is like text messaging on steroids. And what makes the service great it does not cost extra to use BBM. The caveat being you can only use BBM to communicate with other Blackberry handset owners.

Losing Market Edge

So we make a huge case about Blackberries and their email, but technology waits for no one including Research In Motion. Many competitors argue they have email that is just as good as Blackberry smartphones or even better nowadays. I think there is some truth to this and need I say I own an iPhone too.

But the company is slipping in the market because consumers (including myself) believe more innovation needs to happen.

Having a new operating system upgrade is a start. But when it has not reached all of your smartphones is problematic. So, that is one thing to watch out with Blackberries not all of their devices will be running the same OS, it can vary by months between when the new OS arrives on one device and then finally makes it to your particular Blackberry smartphone.

Sadly, you will also find when new products are announced even those Crackberry addicts are unimpressed. They will typically state, "too little, too late!"

Research In Motion is working to get back their strength in the marketplace and they will obviously be around for a long time. One positive is that the company has purchased a highly regarded design and mobile interface company, Astonishing Tribe.

Like me and everyone else, this was about time and we are waiting for you RIM Blackberry to wow us with a product that we can truly appreciate beyond email and BBM.

I really have my sights set on a few upcoming new smartphone releases because I'm ready to jump back on the Blackberry ship.


Research In Motion faces some stiff competition from Apple and all of the Google Android based smartphones. So far they have been weathering the storm pretty well and holding their own.

If you only listen to the popular media without doing your research you may be shocked to learn Blackberry actually is surging in profit.

How is this possible?

Research In Motion is surging overseas, while getting hit hard in North America. Hey, as long as the international numbers hold up they will do just fine, especially as emerging markets gain access to these popular handsets.

Overall, I think the company knows they have to innovate and get things correct and re-establish connections with their user base by introducing appealing products that are must own. When Research In Motion does this they are going to be a force to be reckoned and there are signs good things are in the pipeline.

Return from Research In Motion to Smartphone Consumer

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