BlackBerry is a line of smartphone devices made by Canadian company Research in Motion (RIM) since 1999. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the device began to resemble the smartphone that became so popular around the world.

Although the company has used touchscreens in response to the phenomenal success of Apple’s iPhone, which came a few years later in 2007, it is the device’s responsive QWERTY keyboard, internet access and solid security that cemented it as the most popular smartphone for business users. 

The device became big news when US President Barack Obama became the country’s first leader to use a mobile email device, he became so attached to his BlackBerry on the campaign trail that he refused to surrender it when he took office.

As well as corporate users, BlackBerry devices have also proved popular with teenagers thanks to the company’s BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) software, which sends and receives encrypted instant messages, voice notes, images and videos via a user’s BlackBerry PIN. 

As with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android mobile operating systems, BlackBerry smartphones also support a range of apps and games.