During my 3 AM mod duty...I stumbled upon this little article released by lfpress.com:
"Many of us hold it more often than our lover’s hand.
But what do we really know of the mysterious background of this communications paramour we call BlackBerry?
QMI Agency asked Rod McQueen — Canadian author of BlackBerry (Rod McQueen - Home), a book that digs deep into the making of the now iconic device — to tell us 10 things you likely didn’t know about your little BB and the two men behind our favourite addiction.
- The first product from Research In Motion, founded in 1984 by university dropouts Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, was called Budgie. It consisted of a TV screen linked to a keyboard that allowed entry of point-of-sale information by retailers. Of the 100 units produced, only one-third sold.
- More successful was Digi-Sync, a piece of film editing equipment, launched in 1989. The product won both an Emmy and an Oscar for technical achievement.
- When Jim Balsillie, now co-CEO with Lazaridis, joined the Waterloo-based company in 1992 there were only fourteen employees. By 1997 there were 100. Today, there are more than 12,000.
- Jim Balsillie is five weeks older than Mike Lazardis. Both are 49.
- RIM’s first pager (as it was then called) was so bulky it was dubbed Bullfrog. Released in 1996, Bullfrog had a four-line screen and full QWERTY keyboard all covered by a hinged lid. It weighed 3/4 lb. and was the size of a double cheeseburger.
- When the BlackBerry was launched in 1999, among the short-listed names for the new product was Blade until someone went on line and found that one of the Blade domains led to an Internet porn site. Other finalist names included Byline and Outrigger.
- It took five years, from 1999 to 2004, to sign up the first one million BlackBerry subscribers. These days, one million new customers join each month choosing among a dozen models sold by more than 500 carriers in 170 countries.
- Among the earliest fans was Oprah Winfrey who, in 2003, declared BlackBerry one of her “favorite things.”
- Largest user of BlackBerry, with more than one million subscribers, is the U.S. government. Biggest private sector customer is Citibank.
- Last year, Fortune magazine declared Research In Motion the fastest-growing company in the world. Annual revenue in 1992 was $1 million, in 2010 it’s $15 billion."
The article can be read from the original site