There are perhaps two mobile brands that provide people with more nostalgia than any other, one of these being Nokia and the other being the once-much-loved BlackBerry.
There was a time when it felt like everyone in the country had one of these handheld devices in their home, office or pocket.
BlackBerry was once a cultural phenomenon that was the unquestioned leader in smartphone technology, with their first mobile being released in 2002.
This device was hugely innovative and supported push email, mobile telephone, text messaging, internet faxing, web browsing and other wireless information services, although their focus, and therefore their USP, largely concentrated on email.
In later years an even wider audience of users was reached; their BBM messaging service proved popular with teenagers while their email and push technology enabled it to be an effective work tool.
It was also synonymous with its QWERTY keyboard; however this partly proved to be their ultimate downfall with it eventually looking clunky when compared to the new all-screen mobiles that no longer required pads.
That along with a poor App Store, too much focus on enterprise and being too late with innovation all culminated in the company ending support for its smartphones not running on Android software, marking the end of an era.
We’re going back to a time when BlackBerry’s were the must-have device before Apple and iPhone swept across the country with their further innovation that left the classic brand in their wake.
In 2009, BlackBerry was named the fastest-growing business on the planet with profits at RIM having grown 84% over the previous three years, while its revenues had expanded 77%.
During the same period of time, Apple was ranked 39th and Google 68th – it’s hard to believe that this was only 13 years ago given how much has changed since!
BlackBerry was at its peak during this time, owning nearly 20% of the global smartphone market, with an even higher percentage in the US, selling more than 50 million smartphones a year.
Given how the mobile phone market has experienced a complete 180 in terms of the dominant force in this particular industry, it’s interesting to see just how much else of other aspects of our lives have changed in the same 13-year period and what else is hard to believe that it’s been over a decade since these things occurred..
- A BBC review of 2009 stated that there were two big technology stories that kickstarted the year; the first told how a Windows ‘worm’ infected millions of computers while the second revealed plans for broadband to be in every UK home by 2012.
- Elsewhere the Bank of England cut interest rates to 1.5% – the lowest level in its 315-year history. Although as we know, they wouldn’t stop there with it eventually falling further to the 0.25% that we see today.
- Local elections took place in 2009 and Kent saw an emphatic Conservative majority, winning 74 of the seats across the county.
- Terminally ill reality TV star Jade Goody, who had cervical cancer, married her fiance Jack Tweed at the start of the year. She died, aged 27, a month later.
- Another death hit the headlines as Michael Jackson was pronounced dead at his home in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.
- Following the 2008 recession, the G-20 London summit was held in response to the ongoing global financial crisis. The summit ended in the leaders announcing various measures, including a $1.1 trillion investment in the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
- This was also the year where swine flu threatened to wreak havoc across the country with the first cases coming in April while by mid-June, eight cases were recorded in Kent.
- Conservative MP John Bercow was elected as the 157th Speaker of the House of Commons, we would all become familiar with his “order!” shouts in the years to come.
- At the back end of the year, severe gales and heavy rain from an Atlantic storm caused floods and damage across the county while heavy snowfall also caused widespread disruption.
Film and TV
- The start of 2009 began with the announcement of the new Doctor, as Matt Smith was named as the actor to take over from David Tennant in Doctor Who.
- Street dance troupe Diversity won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent, beating bookies favourite Susan Boyle into second place.
- In Top Gear, the Stig was jokingly ‘revealed’ as seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher – with people not sure if this was the truth or a set up.
- To Walford now as then-London mayor Boris Johnson made a cameo appearance in EastEnders with the episode being watched by 8 million viewers. This year also saw the announcement that Barbara Windsor was to leave EastEnders after 16 years.
- The year ended with Joe McElderry winning the sixth series of The X Factor and Chris Hollins, and his dancing partner Ola Jordan, winning the seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing.
- As for films, at the 66th Golden Globe Awards, Kate Winslet won two awards, Best Actress (Motion Picture Drama) and Best Supporting Actress (Motion Picture); while British film Slumdog Millionaire won all four of the awards for which it was nominated.
- The sixth instalment of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was released in July 2009, although it was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen that topped the box office that year.
- Other films to be released in 2009 include Up, Avatar, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Hangover, Star Trek, Monsters vs. Aliens and Marley & Me.
- Norway were the winners of the Eurovision Song Contest with Alexander Rybak’s song ‘Fairytale’ while the UK achieved their highest placing since 2002 as Jade Ewen’s performance of ‘It’s My Time’ came fifth. This was also Graham Norton’s first year as presenter for the BBC’s coverage.
- We’ve already mentioned Susan Boyle but her version of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ on Britain’s Got Talent became a worldwide sensation, as it was seen over 200 million times on YouTube and other video outlets.
- At the 51st Grammy Awards, Coldplay won three awards including Song of the Year for ‘Viva La Vida’ and Adele won two awards, including Best New Artist.
- After another fight with his brother Liam, Noel Gallagher left Oasis while Robbie Williams made his first appearance on TV in over 3 years with ‘Bodies’ on The X Factor.
- As for the Christmas number one, Rage Against the Machine took this converted slot with ‘Killing in the Name’, after a massive Facebook campaign to prevent the winner of The X Factor from achieving it again.
- Lady Gaga had the best-selling single of the year with ‘Poker Face’ with ‘I Gotta Feeling’ by The Black Eyed Peas also achieved great success.
- Manchester United equalled Liverpool’s record of 18 top division titles after winning the Premier League for a third consecutive season – although they did lose 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League final.
- It was Chelsea who won the FA Cup, beating Everton 2–1 in the final at Wembley; Everton striker Louis Saha scored the fastest ever FA Cup Final goal, after 23 seconds.
- England Cricket Captain, Kevin Pietersen, resigned after months of rows with England Manager, Peter Moores. Andrew Strauss was named as the new Captain.
- Sticking with cricket as England were victorious in the Ashes with the series concluding in a 2-1 victory.
- Closer to home, Kent County Cricket Club won promotion back to the First Division of the County Championship following a draw against Leicestershire.
- In a fairytale triumph, England’s Jenson Button won the 2009 Formula One Drivers’ Championship after finishing 5th at the Brazilian Grand Prix for the newly formed Brawn team who would become Mercedes for the following season.
- Phil Taylor won the PDC World Darts Championship for the 12th time, John Higgins won the World Snooker Championship and Ireland won the rugby Six Nations.
What are your favourite memories from the time BlackBerry ruled the smartphone market?
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