Apple have always been a smart phone giant. But in the late 2000’s they had a competitor. One that tragically fell off due to the rise in popularity of touch screen smart phones since the beginning of the 2010’s. This competitor is of course BlackBerry.
January 4th, 2022 was the date where BlackBerry finally decided to discontinue their QWERTY smartphones. It is the end of an era. Anyone born before the year 2000 will remember or even have owned a BlackBerry smartphone. The BlackBerry 957 made its debut in the year 2000 and in the years that followed, the company sold around 50 million devices per year up until around 2009.
Perhaps BlackBerrys most famous device was the BlackBerry Bold which was used by former US president Barack Obama. But even the success of the Bold wasn’t enough to save them from the huge decline that was to come. In 2009, BlackBerry peaked in the market at 20.1% but by 2016, this fell to 0.1%.
It may sound obvious to say but the rise of touch screen phones such as Samsung devices and especially iPhones killed BlackBerrys stone dead. When the original iPhone launched Steve Jobs even made of point of mocking BlackBerry saying that the iconic keyboards took up too much space. 2016 really was the end for BlackBerry. Their stocks reached an all time low, and they stopped the production of handsets, instead deciding to license out the brand to other companies.
Although the decline of BlackBerry is sad to see and their QWERTY phones will remain iconic to many generations of people, technology needs to move forward and is doing so at an accelerating rate every year. Who knows what smart phones will look like in 10 years’ time? One thing’s for sure, the phones we have today will look and be incredibly obsolete.