Fruity phone brand BlackBerry hails from Canada, and is manufactured by the company Research in Motion, or RIM as it's commonly known in the land of mounties, moose and maple syrup.
BlackBerry earned a name for itself in the early days of smart phones as the handset of choice for the discerning business exec. Its super-secure push email service means bankers, lawyers and head honcho types need never be too far from the office, whether they're tucked up in bed with a cup of luxury cocoa or lounging by the pool in Mauritius.
BlackBerry's first phones, the 850, was unveiled in 1999 and operated as a two-way pager service. A distinctive feature of most BlackBerry phones is the Qwerty keyboard, optimised for typing longer messages more easily than traditional mobile phone keypads. Barack Obama is one of the brand's more famous fans.
BlackBerry's Curve range of budget smart phones -- and its built-in Messenger app -- has earned teenage fans around the world. It drew headline in the summer of 2011 when it was used by unruly young scoundrels to organise nationwide rioting in the UK.
After experiencing tough times of late, BlackBerry is banking on BB10-powered touchscreen phones and tablets to revive the fortunes of this once revolutionary smart phone maker.
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