BlackBerry 5810 released

Image of a BlackBerry 5810 with the application screen options including calendars, email, and phone calls.

RIM unveiled the BlackBerry 5810 as the company’s first smartphone. It was marketed as a “breakthrough in wireless convergence that delivers email, phone, SMS, browser, and organizer features in a single, sleek handheld that is ‘Always On, Always Connected®’.”

BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis anticipated in the late 1990s that wireless handhelds and PDAs would converge with cell phones. Prior BlackBerry devices ran on pager networks to deliver email only. Initially targeted toward business people rather than general users, its technological capabilities and stylish look made it a hit among investment bankers and other professionals. RIM can be considered one of the first successful cloud-based services, as RIM operated its own cloud data centers that connected routed all encrypted traffic across carrier networks worldwide. BlackBerry quickly became a household name, gaining the nickname “CrackBerry” due to its addictive nature.

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