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The First BlackBerry Device Was Launched 18 Years Ago

Remember RIM, the company also known as BlackBerry? Well exactly 18 years ago today, Research in Motion pulled the wraps off the BlackBerry 850 – a “breakthrough wireless email solution for mobile professionals.

So happy 18th birthday, BlackBerry 850! Can you believe all that time went by and we hardly noticed? At that time a highly innovative device, the BlackBerry 850 came packing a LCD display, 32-bit Intel 386 processor, 2MB of flash memory and an integrated wireless modem. The first BlackBerry also integrated a triple-DES encryption technology and a single AA battery to keep things alive and moving.

Compared to current BlackBerry devices this pager looking 850 model does seem like it belongs to a different era. Indeed this is the case. BlackBerry has stopped making smartphones and has licensed the BlackBerry brand to TCL which will be in charge of manufacturing Android handsets.

Back in 2013, the Canadian company agreed to sell itself for a measly price, as to continue to exist in the tech ecosystem. It’s interesting to see whether the BlackBerry brand will flourish or not under TCL. The Chinese manufacturer should launch the BlackBerry Mercury soon, after showcasing it in front of the world at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.


  • QwertyJuan

    It had 2gb of storage?? Seems high back in 1999.

    • hon pik tang

      It’s a typo. More like 2 mb. I bought an USB drive back in 2002 it only has 32 mb.

    • Alexandra Arici

      Hey, thanks for pointing out the mistake. It’s 2MB indeed 🙂