BlackBerry still lead the way in QWERTY keypad handsets, but are introducing touch screens to an increasing number of handsets.
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Blackberry made its debut in 1996, as a brand of smartphone developed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM). In Q1-Q3 2010, Blackberry handsets made up 17% of the European smartphone market, and a lesser 14% worldwide.
The first of RIM's devices was named the Blackberry 850, and was launched in 1999 as a two-way pager system. Their second device, the 857, was released in 2002, and debuted their commonly used QWERTY keypad. It also supported push email, SMS and Internet faxing, and it was this focus on messaging that helped Blackberry to make headway in the smartphone market.
Research In Motion have since expanded their messaging functions, adding support for Facebook, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger and Blackberry Messenger. Blackberry smartphones are now one of the most popular handsets amongst business and corporate users.
At present, all Blackberry handsets run RIM's propriety Blackberry OS. The company launched a new platform called QNX alongside their first tablet, the Blackberry Playbook, in Q3 2010, which is likely to make its smartphone debut in 2011.