BlackBerry phones through the years
BlackBerry Ltd., formally known as Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), is a notable name in the field of telecommunication and much of its success is attributed to devices such as pagers, smartphones and tablets. RIM was founded in 1984 by Mike Lazaridis, an electrical engineering student at the University of Waterloo, who dropped out of college after being awarded a contract with General Motors. A versatile company, RIM first dealt in network computer display systems before teaming with Velocita Wireless (formerly RAM Mobile Data) and Ericsson Phones in 1998 to create a wireless email and two-way paging network. That year, the BlackBerry 850 pager debuted and RIM began to produce more user-friendly, consumer-based wireless devices. Despite finding success in the technology field, BlackBerry has also experienced its share of struggles. Its stock has been steadily declining since the mid 2000s; sharply in 2006 and again after 2,000 employees were laid off in 2011 (the biggest lay off in BlackBerry's history) due to diminishing profits and rapidly declining market shares.