A permanent access to all your emails… You dream about it? Blackberry phone did it. The BlackBerry is a wireless handheld device introduced in 1999 which supports push email, mobile telephone, text messaging, internet faxing, web browsing and other wireless information services. Same size as a PDA, with a mini keyboard, BlackBerry device allows you to receive and reply to emails.
How does it work? Connected to a cell phone network (Cingular BlackBerry, T-Mobile BlackBerry, Sprint BlackBerry, Nextel BlackBerry and Verizon BlackBerry), terminal BlackBerry regularly query the email server of the user. When a new email arrives, the terminal signals it. The user can then read the message and reply. Innovation comes from the fact that synchronization of the emails with the messaging server is real time through the cell phone network it is connected and it supports both GSM, GPRS and UMTS.
Of course, BlackBerry service is more specifically dedicated to companies. The devices are very popular with some businesses, where they are primarily used to provide email delivery to roaming employees. To fully integrate the BlackBerry cell phone into a company, the installation of BlackBerry Enterprise Server is required.
But the popular device BlackBerry that allows reading emails using cell phone network is forbidden in some companies. Indeed, some security experts fear about communications being intercepted. However, Research In Motion (RIM), editor of BlackBerry, claims that all the traffic is encrypted from start to end by the Blackberry servers installed in companies. In fact it has the exact same security level as a traditional VPN if correctly configured.
A Blackberry handheld allows users to fulfill their need of communication but also give them the feeling of control that a phone conversation doesn’t offer. More and more professionals often work in mobility situation and need to permanently be connected to computing system of the company.
According to a recent study, one third of business users show signs of BlackBerry addiction almost similar to those of alcoholism. Some people even use the ironical term “crackberries” to name the phenomenon. Also, most users are supposed to get BlackBerry devices to enhance their productivity but their constant attachment to email make it hard for them to concentrate on other things when they are out of office.
The professional Blackberry is a “all in one” terminal, phone/PDA/messaging, which design is optimized to allow users to manage emails on the go and to access various applications. The original BlackBerry device had a monochrome display, but all current handsets have color displays.
Most BlackBerry devices is equipped with a full QWERTY keyboard, The ease of keying in and sending not only emails, but also SMS, is particularly practical, even if they do not have a BlackBerry.
However, the BlackBerry has no memory extension, no 3G compatibility, no camera and not much style. What is more, multimedia functions still remain low compared to other Symbian or Windows mobile. That is until today with RIM unveiling its first and brand new multimedia phone dubbed the new BlackBerry Pearl. But still BlackBerry devices depend on mobile phone service coverage and are not WIFI compatible unlike similar handheld devices that are on the market now.
RIM BlackBerry is increasingly integrating instant messaging into their new devices and software. RIM offers its own proprietary BlackBerry Instant Messenger, but also offer a Yahoo Chat and Google Talk clients and probably an upcoming BlackBerry MSN Messenger client.
According to RIM, BlackBerry PDA is used by about 5.5 million users worldwide.
Blackberry is used by almost 3 million users in America. Some sources say about 1 million government employees are regular users. Canada is another one of the key market of the company.
While including the usual PDA applications such as address book, calendar, to-do lists, etc… you can always download more BlackBerry software like games, ringtones, themes, webclient and other applications.