The Rise and Fall of BlackBerry: From Two-Way Paging to Smartphones
Last August, we announced that a movie about the rise and fall of BlackBerry had wrapped up. This movie, based on the book “Losing the Signal”, is set to hit theaters on May 12th. If you’re a phone enthusiast, the book is a great read. The trailer for the movie has been released and we’ve embedded it below for your viewing pleasure.
The Movie and its Cast
The movie stars Glenn Howerton of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fame as co-CEO Jim Balsillie, and Canadian actor Jay Baruchel cast as the other co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. The film tells the story of how BlackBerry became a must-have device for businessmen, and its subsequent collapse following the release of the touchscreen iPhone.
The Rise of BlackBerry
BlackBerry gained fame and fortune with its two-way paging system, which swiftly turned into a mobile email device that every businessman needed to own. The company started making smartphones before touchscreens hit the market. BlackBerry devices became known for their physical keyboards, which were so popular among the users.
The Fall of BlackBerry
In January 2007, Steve Jobs held the iPhone aloft at Macworld, marking the beginning of the end for BlackBerry. Feeling the pressure to come up with a touchscreen phone of its own, BlackBerry released the Storm in November 2008. Although the phone was exclusive to Verizon and made plenty of money for the network, it was critically panned by users and experts alike. Every unit purchased from Verizon had to be returned. BlackBerry failed to create a virtual QWERTY that offered the tactile sensation of pressing a physical button.
Despite improving the phone with the sequel, the Motorola DROID and Android were becoming the first real challenger to the iPhone. After years of struggling, BlackBerry finally turned to Android so that it could offer a fully stocked app storefront.
Comeback and Final Days
The BlackBerry PRIV (short for privacy) was the last device designed and manufactured by the company before it licensed its name to Chinese phone maker TCL. The KEYOne and Key2 were released under TCL’s name. Eventually, TCL allowed its license to lapse, and an unknown company named Onward Mobility announced that it was going to create a 5G BlackBerry. Still, it eventually backed out, confirming the death of the BlackBerry phone.
The movie focuses on how BlackBerry became famous in the smartphone market, the subsequent collapse following the iPhone’s release, and the failure to gain traction with the BlackBerry Storm. If you’re a BlackBerry or smartphone fan, this movie is a must-watch.
Circle or highlight May 12th on your BlackBerry Passport, and don’t miss this exciting event.