A decade (or so) of BlackBerry smartphones

BlackBerry is embarking on a new series of smartphones with its OS 7 devices. CNET's BlackBerry photo gallery shows how the company got there.

Research In Motion gave us more than a bit to think about this week when it debuted three new devices with the BlackBerry Bold 9900, Torch 9810, and Torch 9860. Bonnie Cha came away with mixed impressions following her hands-on time in Toronto, but of course we'll wait for our full reviews to give our firm opinions.

Though the new devices don't break new design ground, they do promise new features with BlackBerry OS 7. Whether that will be enough to rescue BlackBerry from its current doldrums remains to be seen, but in the meantime BlackBerry fans are buzzing. And as we wait, we wanted to take a look back at the last nine years of BlackBerry smartphones. After getting started in pagers, the company introduced its first device with an integrated phone, the 5810, in 2002. You needed a headset to use it, but BlackBerry soon got on its feet to rule the corporate world.

Related stories
• Hands-on with the BlackBerry Bold 9900, BlackBerry Torch 9810 and 9860
• AT&T doubles down on BlackBerry with three OS 7 devices
• Sprint gets new Bold and Torch
• Why you should think twice about buying a new BlackBerry
• How to Bridge your PlayBook to a BlackBerry

In the above slideshow , we've collected some of RIM's most prominent handsets since the 5810. We haven't included every model the company has ever made--that would be a long list--but we can offer a snapshot of how BlackBerry models have evolved from those early days.

About the author

Kent German leads CNET's How To coverage and is the senior managing editor of CNET Magazine. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he started in San Francisco and is now based in the London office. When not at work, he's planning his next trip to Australia, going for a run, or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).

 

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