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Chapter 1. ✓ Start Here > The BlackBerry Device Family Past and Present

The BlackBerry Device Family Past and Present

To fully appreciate the BlackBerry 7100, it's helpful to understand how it fits into the BlackBerry device family. This is important because the 7100 has, in many ways, evolved from the BlackBerry devices that came before it. Although the BlackBerry operating system has evolved considerably over the years, many of the devices have remained relatively unchanged in terms of their appearances. This is a testament to the fact that the devices were well-designed to begin with. The 7100 is by far the most dramatic departure from the familiar, rugged, rectangular BlackBerry device profile.

The earliest BlackBerry device, the BlackBerry 950, was released by RIM in 1998 as a pure text-messaging device that supports two-way text messaging on the Mobitex pager network developed by Ericsson. The BlackBerry 950 built on RIM's original Interactive Pager, released in 1996 as the first two-way messaging pager. The BlackBerry 950 put RIM on the map and allowed it to jump from the Toronto Stock Exchange to the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol RIMM in 1999. Also in 1999, RIM expanded the BlackBerry product line with the BlackBerry 850, as well as the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) software for wireless corporate email integration.


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