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BlackBerry is a line of smartphone and mobile-email devices designed and developed by Research In Motion Company (RIM) based in Canada since 1999. BlackBerry devices include smartphones which are mostly designed and operated as internet browsers, portable media players, personal digital assistants, and gaming devices. The phones are best known for their outstanding ability to receive and send instant messages and push e-mail while at the same time maintain high security levels using its encryption on device (Waxer, 2005).

The phones devices support a wide range of instant messages features with the most common one being the BlackBerry Messenger. BlackBerry features have enabled it to command more than 11.7% of the worldwide smartphones sales shares, coming fourth among the most popular devices manufactures behind, Apple, Sony Ericson, and Google.   BlackBerry’s consumer Internet Service covers approximately 91 nations with more than 500 mobile operators making use of its various mobile technologies. The latest statistics have it that the phone enjoys more than seventy million subscribers all over the world (Waxer, 2005).

The first BlackBerry phone was the 850 device that was introduced as a two way paper   in 1999 in Munich. The BlackBerry smartphone was released in 2003, included with mobile phone, Internet faxing, push email, and Web browsing features. Its email inclusion is what helped the phone make headway in the world market (Waxer, 2005). To compete with other competitors in the market, BlackBerry devices have been included with special features which include; 

BlackBerry Messenger

The BlackBerry Messenger commonly referred to as the BBM   is an Internet based proprietary for instant messenger application in BlackBerry devices allowing instant messaging among BlackBerry users.  The feature was developed by Research in Motion Company allowing messages to be sent through the Blackberry Messenger over the Internet and applying the BlackBerry PIN system. The feature thus allows communication to be possible only across two BlackBerry devices. The service operates in such away that the BlackBerry Internet Service communicates and functions over its Internet connection using a wireless LAN or the mobile phone network. This enables the users to exchange messages even in situations where BlackBerry network coverage is not provided (Ballew, 2010).

 The LAN accessible makes it possible for the phones to still access the Internet.  Exchange messages are possible also through chat groups and dedicated discussion allowing several BlackBerry devices to connect in one session. BlackBerry Messenger also permits the users to send files, voice notes, send pictures, find locations on maps, and emoticons over its network.   The BlackBerry Messenger features include; personal BBM display status and picture, receiver and sender messages of unlimited length, videos and share photos multiple contacts at an instant, contacts add by sharing PINS or QR Codes scanning and messages real time confirmation when read and delivered (Ballew, 2010).

BlackBerry Internet Service

The main alternative to using the phones Enterprise Server is the BlackBerry Internet Service. The internet service, also referred to as the BIS is present in 91 nations worldwide. The service was developed, mainly to serve the average consumer and not the business consumer. This Internet Service allows IMAP and POP3 email integration and accesses 10 email accounts.   BlackBerry Internet Service also allows the push capabilities functions in several other BlackBerry Applications (Sandler, 2011).   

Black Berry PIN

The Black Berry PIN a hexadecimal identification number that has eight characters assigned to every BlackBerry device.  These PINs cannot be manually changed on the BlackBerry device and are locked to a specific device.  BlackBerry’s phones can message each other with the PIN directly or through the Messenger Application. The PINs can be easily tracked using the Internet Service and Enterprise Services. The BlackBerry PINS are also used to have massages directed to BlackBerry devices.  Other messages and emails like the ones from the Push Service are directed typically to a BlackBerry’s PIN (Sandler, 2011). 

T—Mobile BlackBerry Service

T—Mobile BlackBerry Service has been preferred by many users for its myFaves plans that allow the user to call five numbers unlimited. It has remained to be the leading wireless service national carrier including, voice, data and messaging. The service assures its users of the best coverage. It offers few voice minutes that can be used whenever and wherever as well as unlimited email across 10 accounts, instant massaging, unlimited web browsing, and domestic texting, and no roaming or long distance charges.  In addition to the good prices, its enterprise plan offers unlimited BES access. The T—Mobile BlackBerry Service also offers international services although the user is expected to have additional credit check. The service allows Caller Tunes, making the callers enjoy sound effects, hear music, and spoken clips in place of ringing. The Web Guard allows the user to restrict access to over-18 material on their phones (Myers and Stull, 2008). 

Competition

BlackBerry’s primary competitors are smartphones running iOS, webOS, Andriod, and Windows Phone 7. Users of BlackBerry have successfully defended its utility over iPhones, supporting its secure email, physical keyboard, and applications like the BlackBerry Messenger. The Company recorded a sale of more than 100 million phones by June 2010. By the end of the year 2010, the RIM Company had sold approximately 47.5 million phones. This was an increase by 38 percent compared to the previous financial year. Its Q4 performance was strongest in United Kingdom, Indonesia and Netherlands (Rizk, 2009). 

Use

The encryption features included in BlackBerry phones make them extremely safe and suitable for use even by state forces.    A good example is increased use of the BlackBerry phones by the British police allowing more of the officers to be along the streets and that has helped in checking public spending. This is possible as every member of the work force can easily perform his or her desk work directly using the mobile devices as well as many other situations and areas.  In United States, President Barack Obama is remembered for his dependence on this device especially during his campaign in the 2008 presidential campaign.  Despite the security matters that came up, he still insisted on using the BlackBerry phone even after he was elected as the president making him the firsts American President to use mobile email. This was seen as a good celebrity endorsement in the phones market worth 50 million dollars (Rizk, 2009).

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