With 2013 finally under way, the BlackBerry community has a great year ahead of it. The launch of BlackBerry 10 is only 29 days away and it's sure to be amazing. Looking back, 2012 was a pretty cool year though. It was a year of transition in the BlackBerry world. At times, it was exciting, pessimistic, revealing, and pretty much any other adjective you can think of. 2012 was all about BlackBerry 10 and building up momentum towards the launch in 2013. Here are our top stories of 2012!
Research In Motion started off the year by announcing OS 7.1 for current BlackBerry 7 devices. OS 7.1 brought with it Mobile Hotspot, WiFi calling/UMA support, BlackBerry Tag (NFC), and FM Radio support for BlackBerry Curves.
A big shake up followed on January 22nd, when RIM co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, stepped down from their executive positions and were replaced by Thorsten Heins, who had served as COO.
New BlackBerry "Be Bold" commercials hit the airwaves. The Martinez' brothers famous tagline at the end of their commercial would become a pretty common phrase BlackBerry lovers would repeat. "We want tools, not toys."
PlayBook OS 2.0 dropped at around 5am on February 21st as predicted. We celebrated the days leading up to it on Twitter with the hashtag #TwosDay, which became so popular, VP of Dev Relations, Alec Saunders and BlackBerry's official account used it.
In a huge showing of #teamBlackBerry support, BlackBerry's social media channels surpassed 25 million fans in March.
RIM offers a ton of premium apps for free as part of the "Compliments of BlackBerry" promotion.
The yet to be announced BlackBerry Curve 9320 gets pictured with its dedicated BBM button.
More changes happened in RIM's Board of Directors when Jim Balsillie and others step down on March 29th. RIM's earnings report for Fiscal Q4 2012 was also on the 29th. Heins was quoted as saying, "My impression of RIM on day 2 of being CEO is very different from my impression in week 10." For me personally, this was when I felt Thorsten had started taking charge of RIM. It was the beginning of change.
Jessie J performs at BBM party in the UK on April 3rd. Unfortunately, turmoil ensued as one of the attendees, a UK RIM employee, was stabbed on the dance floor.
The BlackBerry Curve 9220 is launched in India on April 18th. It would quickly become one of the hottest selling items in that nation.
VP of Dev Relations, Alec Saunders, told all developers why they needed to be at BlackBerry Jam in Orlando in May in the above video.
BlackBerry 7 gets named the most security mobile OS for businesses, again.
The BlackBerry Beta Zone got a much needed makeover.
The Dev Alpha device gets pictured for the first time a week before BlackBerry World and Jam.
May was a busy month that started off with BlackBerry World and BlackBerry Jam 2012 in Orlando, Florida.
Thorsten's BlackBerry World keynote on Day 1 was his first as CEO of RIM and it was awesome. RIM showed off BlackBerry 10 for the first time in some kick ass recorded and live demos. The BlackBerry 10 Cascades SDK was also released for developers.
We got some alone time with the newly announced BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha.
That night at the BlackBerry party, the Pacemaker app for PlayBook was shown off in full force.
RIM took all the positive vibes from BlackBerry Jam in Orlando and decided to take it on the road to developers everywhere.
BlackBerry 10's lock screen and cinnamon toast notifications slides leaked on 6th along with the media player, home screen, clock and more. This was one of the biggest BlackBerry 10 UI leaks we had come across at the time.
RIM partners with TomTom for their current and future maps plans.
RIM announces the hire of their new CMO and COO.
The BlackBerry Curve 9320 and 9220 are introduced in Latin America.
The BlackBerry PlayBook's OS 2.1 Beta goes live for developers and pretty much anyone else that wanted to load it.
June was a pretty relaxed month to start. Unfortunately, towards the end of June, the morale behind BlackBerry 10 would drop to an all-time low.
During BlackBerry Jam New York, RIM's principal architect, Gary Klassen, gave us another sneak peek at BlackBerry 10's UI and the excellent virtual keyboard.
The insanely expensive BlackBerry P'9981 was launched in Canada.
We're so used to the names L-Series and N-Series that we forget that at one time they were foreign to us. Back on June 26th, the names L-Series and N-Series are first leaked in internal slides. We've referred to each series of device as that since then.
On June 28th, Research In Motion gave BlackBerry users one of the heaviest blows to date when Thorsten Heins announced BlackBerry 10 would be delayed until Q1 2013. The next day, Heins would start rallying his troops at RIM and would begin the slow track back to reaffirm and reinvigorate BlackBerry lovers everywhere.
The summer months brought a lot of confidence from Thorsten Heins. He stood behind RIM's decision to delay BlackBerry 10 'til 2013 saying RIM was not "in a death spiral" as many in the media had suggested.
The BlackBerry 10 2013 roadmap was leaked.
App World reached a huge milestone when it hit 3 billion downloads.
The PlayBook Experience came to New York City.
Frank Boulben and Thorsten Heins do a few interviews about BlackBerry 10 and how the launch will happen.
The beautiful BlackBerry 10 keyboard text prediction patent was awarded to RIM on the 18th.
We got a chance to interview Head of Software Portfolio, Vivek Bhardwaj, and talk more BlackBerry 10.
We got another unofficial glimpse at what BBM would look like on BB10 with this leak on the 25th. A 10" PlayBook then made an appearance in the wild. We still haven't seen this bad boy and odds are we may never see it.
The BlackBerry PlayBook 4G was announced and released on August 9th in Canada. We're still waiting for a 4G PlayBook in the U.S. and hopefully once BB10 launches, that turns into reality.
"Pink Slip Thursday" haunts RIM employees.
RIM's decision towards licensing BlackBerry 10 continues to be a hot topic in August.
Usain Bolt wins a gold medal at the Olympics, then says he has to "thank a few people on his BBM."
Rumors of Samsung acquiring RIM circle again. Samsung shoots them down, again.
RIM details upcoming device screen resolutions for BlackBerry 10.
"Program has ended" day for Dev Alphas everywhere around the world happened on the last day of August.
The month of September was huge for BlackBerry. It was the most revealing for what the BlackBerry 10 UI and hardware would look like.
At the beginning of the month, we got a couple of nice leaks that showed off the home screen and other parts of BlackBerry 10.
We found the first clear picture of the BlackBerry 10 L-Series and then more pictures leaked later.
We all knew it was coming, but on September 6th, Mobihand officially closed its App Stores down.
On September 13th, BBM became an official word in the dictionary.
BlackBerry Jam Americas in San Jose, CA was held between September 25th through the 27th. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins gives the keynote and Vivek helps out with some more demos.
The BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha gets a huge update which brings the BlackBerry 10 UI to it.
The BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha B gets announced and unboxed.
The N-Series gets pictured for the first time hours before RIM Q2 2013 earnings call.
BlackBerry's 10,000 reasons to believe campaign starts.
The next generation BlackBerry desktop software, BlackBerry Link, gets named for the first time.
OS 2.1 drops for the PlayBook on October 3rd.
The L-Series appears in a Latin American video for the first time.
One of the most coveted apps, Instagram, is rumored to be coming to BlackBerry 10.
BlackBerry Theme Builder 7 is completely dropped by RIM and never released.
Since October, the amount of times the BlackBerry L-Series was pictured in the wild became ridiculous.
On October 16th, the New York Times said BlackBerry users are ashamed of their smartphones, we disagreed and so did Thorsten in Op-Ed.
BlackBerry 10's stand by screen/boot up screen gets pictured along with some other goodies.
BlackBerry users get an exclusive first from Foursquare.
The BlackBerry Beta Zone expands into 43 new countries.
Investors finally start to see what we've known for a while as RIM's stock rises and hits a 4-month high on the 6th.
BlackBerry 10's browser flexes its muscles once again when it meets Ringmark benchmark standard R1.
BlackBerry 10 reaches another milestone when it gets approved for government use months before launch.
The date we were all waiting for, January 30th, 2013, gets announced as the launch date for BlackBerry 10.
BBM 7 beta launches on the 13th and brings BBM Voice free WiFi calling.
Thorsten Heins gets pictured using a BlackBerry 10 device at a Lakers game and then makes the rounds talking BlackBerry 10 with media outlets.
Yahoo's Marissa Mayer disses BlackBerry on Nov. 28th.
BlackBerry Jam Asia 2012 kicks off and we get another Dev Alpha update in the process.
BlackBerry App World gets rebranded for BlackBerry 10 as BlackBerry World.
BlackBerry Messenger 7 leaves beta and hits App World.
RIM's picture of the back of the L-Series teases us on the 8th.
BlackBerry 10 Dev Alphas get gold release candidate OS, SDKs, and then we partied to celebrate it at the Gold SDK tweetup.
The clearest. hottest pictures of the BlackBerry 10 L-Series hit the web.
BlackBerry 10 launch event invites go out. Six events in six cities worldwide scheduled.
No Sleep Til BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry Born Again songs hit the blog.
Twitter for BlackBerry 4.0 launches in App World and now shows retweets, favorites, follow; etc in the Connect tab.
The names Z10 and X10 are rumored to be the official names of the first two BlackBerry 10 devices.
The BlackBerry L, N and R-Series get pictured together on Christmas Eve.
First close up, hi-res pictures of what could be the BlackBerry N-Series X10 leak.
Suffice to say there were a lot of awesome stories in 2012. What was your favorite from the past year? Let us know in the comments!