Last August we told you that a movie about the Rise and Fall of BlackBerry had wrapped. The movie, based on the 2015 book “Losing the Signal” (which is a great read for phone enthusiasts), is now set to open at a theater near you on May 12th. A trailer has been released which we have embedded here for your viewing pleasure. The movie stars Glenn Howerton of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as co-CEO Jim Balsillie with Canadian actor Jay Baruchel cast as the other co-CEO Mike Lazaridis,
BlackBerry shot to fame and fortune with its two-way paging system which turned into a mobile email device that every businessman needed to own. The company started making smartphones. Before touchscreens hit the market, BlackBerry devices became known for their physical keyboards. But when Steve Jobs held the iPhone aloft at Macworld on January 9th, 2007, it was the beginning of the end. In fact, that moment appears in the trailer for the movie which, by the way, is called BlackBerry.
Feeling the pressure to come up with a touchscreen phone of its own, BlackBerry released the Storm in November 2008. A Verizon exclusive, the phone made plenty of money for Verizon but was the buggiest phone ever made. Every unit purchased from Verizon had to be returned (including mine). The virtual QWERTY was supposed to give users the tactile sensation of pressing a physical button but BlackBerry failed to make this work.
BlackBerry did improve the phone with the sequel, but by then the Motorola DROID and Android were becoming the first real challenger to the iPhone.
After years of banging its head against the wall, BlackBerry finally turned to Android so that it can offer a fully stocked app storefront. The BlackBerry PRIV (short for privacy) is the last Berry designed and manufactured by the company.
The movie won’t go that far into the BlackBerry story and won’t going into the rebirth of the company as a cybersecurity firm. If the film is based on “Losing the Signal,” it will show how the BlackBerry became a must-have device for businessmen, the success it had in the smartphone market, the subsequent collapse following the release of the touchscreen iPhone, and the failure to gain traction with the BlackBerry Storm.
If you’re a BlackBerry or a smartphone fan, BlackBerry is the movie event of the year. Circle or highlight May 12th on your BlackBerry Passport.
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