The evolution of the BlackBerry family was described as an “extraordinary story” by the chairman of the GSMA, Alexander Izosimov, upon granting Research in Motion (RIM) the Chairman’s Award at the GSMA Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona last night.
“RIM’s commitment to innovation has revolutionised the wireless industry and laid the foundations which shaped the thriving smart phone market of today,” Izosimov said.
“BlackBerry products and services have changed the way we communicate and interact, making businesses more productive and consumers better connected.”
“This award is a testament to the talent and commitment of more than 12,000 RIM employees, who are all focused on serving our customers and partners,” Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM said on receiving the award.
“We are more excited than ever by the opportunities ahead in our industry, and we are honoured to be recognised with the Chairman’s Award.”
RIM was founded by Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO, while a student in Ontario in 1984. Jim Balsillie joined as co-CEO in 1992. When RIM launched the BlackBerry solution 10 years ago as a wireless email solution for enterprise customers, it changed the face of communications.
Over the years, the BlackBerry has evolved into a multi-faceted and robust wireless platform that supports a wide range of communications, information and entertainment applications for businesses and consumers alike.
In recent years, RIM has brought innovative and popular new devices to market, including the BlackBerryPearl, the BlackBerry Curve, the BlackBerry Bold (pictured)and the BlackBerry Storm, which earned its own award at Mobile World Congress this year.
RIM has now shipped over 50 million BlackBerry smart phones, and continues to grow at an impressive rate. In its 13 years as a public company, RIM has grown its revenues by a remarkable 170,000pc.
RIM’s accomplishments in both innovation and business excellence have served the company and the mobile communications industry well.
GSMA Chairman Izosimov added: “In my opinion, BlackBerry helped keep the mobile data flame alive, and it helped the industry justify investment in GPRS and 3G in the face of early scepticism.
“It’s hard to imagine life before BlackBerry. Before the revolution of the BlackBerry ‘push email’ service, finding a dial-up and accessing email was a painful experience, and RIM’s passion for innovation and growth has continued steadily since that game-changing breakthrough. It’s an extraordinary story.”
By John Kennedy
Pictured: the BlackBerry Bold