Tech

BlackBerry: A product history

Updated 5:32 PM ET, Mon September 23, 2013
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Not so long ago, BlackBerry dominated the North American smartphone market with devices that looked clunky but had physical keyboards geared to e-mailing on the go. Now the company is in deep trouble, outflanked by Apple and Android. Here's a look back at some of its key products. BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images/File
The BlackBerry's closest predecessor, this clamshell device introduced in 1996, was the first two-way messaging pager. RIM
Four years later, in 2000, the BlackBerry looked a lot more like, well, a BlackBerry. You could surf the web, send and receive e-mails, and set alarms, but it was still essentially a pager with PDA features. The $499 list price and $40 monthly service fee was shocking to some. PDAdb.net
It wasn't until 2002 that the BlackBerry was actually a phone. That's right, the 5810 was the first model that allowed you to make calls. It came with a caveat: no built-in microphone or speaker meant you had to plug in a headset to use the feature. PDAdb.net
In 2003, BlackBerry debuted its first phone with a color screen. It was cutting-edge technology, and the classic blue shell set the precedent for how the company's future lines would look. PDAdb.net
In 2004 the BlackBerry got much sleeker. This meant less space for a full keyboard so RIM introduced SureType, a phone keypad and QWERTY hybrid. PDAdb.net
The BlackBerry Pearl in 2006 was the first BlackBerry to have that iconic navigation ball you might remember replacing. It was also the first BlackBerry with a camera, and the company's smallest phone. PDAab.net
In 2007 BlackBerry released the Curve, a light device with a full keyboard, camera, and sleek professional appearance. It was a huge seller for BlackBerry. But then the iPhone launched later that year. PDAdb.net
Launched in 2008, the Bold was in many ways a step up from the Curve. It was sleeker with a more hand-friendly keyboard. PDAdb.net
The Storm was BlackBerry's first all-touchscreen device, released in 2010 as a belated attempt to catch up with Apple. The phone got mixed reviews, and many customers found its touchscreen difficult to operate. PDAdb.net
Introduced in 2010, the first Torch had a touchscreen and full slide-out keyboard, making it a hybrid between the iPhone and the older BlackBerry models. Users weren't impressed, and the phone failed to make much of a splash. PDAdb.net
In January of 2013, BlackBerry released the Z10 and the Q10 -- phones built on the overhauled BlackBerry 10 operating system. But the devices failed to excite consumers, and the company posted a first-quarter loss. In September it announced it was laying off 40% of its workforce. PDAdb.net