by Al Sacco

BlackBerry Milestones: Four Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About RIM

Jan 30, 20092 mins
Enterprise Applications

Last year was a significant one for BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM), and if the company has its way, 2009 will be even more momentous. In 2008, RIM announced at least four brand new devices—the Pearl 8220, Bold, Storm and Curve 8900; it rolled out a plethora of new OS updates for version 4.5, 4.6 and 4.7; the company held’s first BlackBerry Developer Conference; and even launched the on-device BlackBerry Application Center for Storm users. But you probably know all that. Here are four more little-known factoids about RIM.

image from RIM's BlackBerry Booth at CES 2009
RIM’s BlackBerry Booth at CES 2009

-In January, RIM shipped its 50 millionth BlackBerry smartphone.

It’s difficult to get your head around such a number, but 50 million is a lot of smartphones. Consider that Apple, the number two smartphone maker in the world behind Nokia, has sold right around 10 million iPhones. It’s true that Apple only sells one device, and it has been doing so for just two years. Still, 50 million units has a nice ring to it.

-Ten years ago this month, RIM first launched the BlackBerry solution. Today, BlackBerry sells in over 150 countries from over 425 carriers and national distribution partners.

A ton of competition exists in the smartphone space today, but it’s RIM’s solid foundation in the industry that keeps it at the forefront of both hardware engineering and software development. The company has its ups and downs, like any other organization—think: Storm hiccups—but much to the chagrin of the world’s Apples, Palms, Microsofts and HTCs, RIM’s not going anywhere any time soon.

RIM’s BlackBerry infrastructure routes more than three petabytes of traffic each month.

Three petabytes. Again, quantifying such a number here is practically impossible, but three petabytes equals about 3,145,728GB, equals 3,221,225,472MB, equals 3,377,699,720,527,860 bytes. And that’s a LOT of data.

-Even with the current dire U.S. economic conditions, RIM continues to grow. In fact, RIM hired roughly 4,000 employees last year, and in January it surpassed the 12,000 employee mark.

Not bad at all. Especially when you consider that such high-profile companies as Microsoft, Intel and Motorola have all initiated large-scale layoffs in recent days.

It will be interesting to see what new milestones RIM can rack up in 2009, which promises to be particularly tough from an economic perspective, as well as a competitive one.


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