BlackBerry Smartphones have come a long way since the original models were introduced way back in 1996. And I mean a loooooong way. The first devices were not really even smartphones at all. BlackBerry got its start improving upon pagers, with the introduction of the 850 Interactive Pager.
That's a far cry from today's 9000 series smartphones that feature color screens, wifi, microSD slots, GPS, Bluetooth and so much more. BlackBerry has moved from a trackwheel to trackball to trackpad to full touchscreen -and BlackBerry 10 promises to take the experience to a whole new level. So as we look forward to BlackBerry 10, let's take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and check out the evolution of the BlackBerry Smartphone - in pictures.
The Evolution of BlackBerry Devices
While this is a pretty good size sample of BlackBerry devices, keep in mind that it's not every model and color that was made available (there are quite a few).
850 and 950 Series
The original BlackBerry - the Inter@ctive Pager - was announced on September 18, 1996. The device provided only basic email and WAP services. The series included the model 850, 857, 900, 950, 957 and 962 devices.
5000 and 6000 Series
The 5000 and 6000 series devices were the first to incorporate a mobile phone with a pager. The 5810 was released on March 4, 2002. The 5000 series included the 5810 and 5820 (which had phone capabilities using a headset) as well as the email only 5790. The 6000 series included the 6210, 6220, 6230, 6280, 6510, 6710, 6720 amd 6750.
The 7000 series built upon the same features as the 5000/6000 series, but introduced a color screen as well. Various models included phone and/or two-way radio and the 7290 and 7520 also had Bluetooth. Models included the 7210, 7220, 7230, 7250, 7270, 7280, 7290, 7510, 7520, 7730, 7750 and 7780. This was also Kevin's first BlackBerry and ignited the fire that became CrackBerry!!
The 8000 series was the start of the "consumer" devices. These models included an updated color screen, more memory, a microSD slot, camera and more. The Pearl 8100 was also the first to introduce the new trackball naviagtion, breaking away from the trackwheel that had graced other devices. The name Pearl came from the look of the trackball on the device.
The 8000 series includes the well known Pearl and best-selling Curve lines of devices.
The Pearl Flip 8220 was the first BlackBerry flip phone made available.
BlackBerry Pearl 8100
BlackBerry Curve 8320
BlackBerry Curve 8350i
BlackBerry Curve 8900
BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220
BlackBerry Curve 8530
The 9000 series is the most recent, beginning with the Bold 9000 launched in 2008. Dubbed the Cadillac of devices, the Bold 9000 is still a long fan favorite. The 9000's again featured updated hardware including better cameras, more memory, Bluetooth and wifi. This series included the first all-touch device, the BlackBerry Storm 9530 and the flagship Bold line.
The Torch 9800 was the first device running BlackBerry 6 and offered a slider form factor with both a touchscreen and slide out keyboard.
BlackBerry Bold 9000
BlackBerry Tour 9630
BlackBerry Storm 9530
BlackBerry Bold 9700
BlackBerry Bold 9650
BlackBerry Style 9670
BlackBerry Curve 9380
BlackBerry Torch 9860
BlackBerry Curve 9360
BlackBerry Torch 9810
BlackBerry Bold 9790
BlackBerry Bold 9900
BlackBerry 10 will be released in Q1 of 2013. The "mobile computing platform" will be a fresh start for BlackBerry and bring two new devices, the L-Series (touchscreen) and N-Series (QWERTY).