Photos: BlackBerrys through the ages

Photos: BlackBerrys through the ages

Summary: Updated: Take a tour of BlackBerry's most iconic handsets, from 2000's mobile connectivity-less 957 to the latest crop of BlackBerry 10 devices.


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  • Once the smartphone of choice for anyone with a business card, BlackBerry has seen its enterprise lead gradually chiselled away by rival manufacturers, with the company now exploring options for its future which could include putting the company up for sale.

    ZDNet takes a look back at how the device has developed since the first BlackBerry hit the shelves more than a decade ago.

    RIM 957

    This is the RIM 957, one of the early 'wireless handheld' devices from RIM — as BlackBerry was once called — launched in 2000. Packing mobile email and a Qwerty keyboard, it was only sold in the company's native Canada. It was also notable for having no mobile connectivity — so no voice calls here.

    Image: BlackBerry

  • BlackBerry 5820

    2001's 5820 was the first voice-enabled BlackBerry, using GPRS in Europe, and had email, SMS and browser functionality. It also packed a hefty 8MB of flash memory.

    The 5820 was one of the first BlackBerrys offered by BT Cellnet, now O2.

    Image: Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

  • BlackBerry 6720

    The 6720 from 2002 was not a massive step up from the 5820 but it was the first to have an onboard speaker and microphone and could be used on European and US networks.

    Image: Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, BlackBerry, Smartphones

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  • RIM 957

    As a former employee for Lanier Worldwide, the 957 was a huge rollout for us in 2001. Lanier WW was based in Atlanta, so this product was sold to Lanier through US RIM vendor, which means this product was not just sold in Canada.
    • 957 wasn't the first

      RIM had pager models back in 1996 (160-65 pixels) before the 957 (160x160 pixels) was introduced. If this is supposed to be a tour through their models, you should start with their first model so we can actually see the growth of how RIM changed the devices over the years.
      Ray (Canada)
  • Um...

    Hate to break it to you, but 13 years (or even 17, if we take Ray's information into account) does not constitute even one age, let alone "ages." The article's title overshoots pretentious and goes right on into absurd.
  • Article is wrong about "no mobile connectivity"

    The 957 certainly had mobile connectivity; it would have been useless without it! At the time the voice cellular networks had no data capability, so a mobile-data network had to be used. As with GSM vs. CDMA, there were two competing standards, and RIM created models for both; the 957 used the Mobitex standard. (Mobitex did in fact include voice capability, but it was intended for only occasional use, e.g. emergencies, and the 957 didn't include voice.)
    Rohan Jayasekera
  • What do you expect?

    The author seems to have worked for a certain British publication that is famous for not spelling its own name correctly, unless Guardian Government Computing is different from what I think it is.