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The first BlackBerry-branded device, an email pager, was released in 1999.
The consumer BlackBerry Internet Service is available in 91 countries worldwide on over 500 mobile service operators using various mobile technologies. As of late 2012, there are approximately 76 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide, most of them residing in the Caribbean and Latin America, giving the BlackBerry OS an approximate 4.3% of the worldwide smartphone market as of Q3 2012.
A new OS, BlackBerry 10, was launched on January 30, 2013, at which point Research in Motion changed the company’s name to BlackBerry. The United Kingdom was the first country to receive the first BB10 device, the BlackBerry Z10, followed by the United States and Canada. The new OS includes a number of new features, such as a camera that’s able to go back in time to ensure a perfect shot; an intelligent, predictive, and adapting keyboard; and a user interface designed around the idea of “flow.” VoIP Apps such as Skype, Viber, and Truphone were already confirmed for the new OS in addition to BlackBerry’s own Messenger service.
As of August 7, 2013, BlackBerry was the fourth most popular mobile OS behind Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, with approximately 2.9 percent worldwide market share according to the IDC, down from 4.9 percent the year before.
In September 2013, BlackBerry announced it would be exiting the consumer market for good, instead focusing its efforts on the enterprise market. An initiative to buyout the company and take it private was launched by a group of BlackBerry investors in late September, an initiative that was abandoned by November.
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