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BlackBerry Planet: The Story of Research in Motion and the Little Device that Took the World by Storm Hardcover – September 4, 2009

2.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

We've all heard the hype, but is RIM's BlackBerry really that ubiquitous?

From Chapter 1:

Today the BlackBerry monopolizes the world of work - nobody else comes close. An astounding 85 percent of public corporations are supplying staff with the devices, and more than 175,000 BlackBerry Enterprise Servers are installed worldwide. The US Congress was RIM's first big client, and Uncle Sam is still the biggest consumer of BlackBerrys. Today, more than 500,000 devices are installed in every department of the U.S. government and throughout the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Some larger corporations are handling tens of thousands of e-mail accounts securely and efficiently, and the top three or four companies manage close to 100,000 BlackBerry users each. Security is key. BlackBerry messages are secured with NATO-grade encryption, and network managers love the ability to freeze or wipe data from a lost or stolen BlackBerry.

But Research In Motion (RIM) has also adapted the BlackBerry to serve the consumer as well, and today more than 60 percent of users are outside the enterprise, buying their services from telecom providers.

Alastair Sweeny delves into one of the most successful technology companies in the world. It's a story of determination, innovation and ultimately success - all shaped by the ingenious little device that changed the world.

From the Back Cover

"In just the first few weeks, I've had to engage in some of the toughest diplomacy of my life. And that was just to keep my BlackBerry."
President Barack Obama

The untold story of the BlackBerry and the company that brought it to life.

BlackBerry Planet tells the behind-the-scenes story of how Research In Motion's little device has become the machine that connects the planet. Starting with the early years of Mike Lazaridis' founding of RIM at age 23, it details his drive to innovate, developing what was a glorified pager into the essential corporate communicator, used by everyone from dealmakers to the Queen of England, from movie stars to the entire US Congress. Since 1992, Lazaridis and co-CEO Jim Balsillie together have been the driving force behind the RIM story.

With access to senior staffers and former RIM employees, BlackBerry Planet details the branding and marketing success of the BlackBerry, from its use during 9/11, which earned RIM a reputation for security and reliability, to the cultural adoption of the iconic device as a must-have symbol, to the backlash against the addictive properties of the "CrackBerry," and the various patent suits RIM has had to fight off - including the five-year court battle that resulted in the largest technology patent settlement in US history.

As the incredible story of the BlackBerry unfolds, users, fans, investors and competitors can look to BlackBerry Planet for the insight and context of where they've been, to try and predict where they're going.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470159405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470159408
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,617,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a technology and business profile enthusiast, I was excited to read this book about the founders of the blackberry, a device that i have been loyal to for the past 8 years. However, after reading this book, I was let down by the fact that it was a dry book with very little flair like other technology profiles offer. The only interesting parts were when RIM was intensely compared to Apple. Other then that, the book really didn't offer much information.
I would recommend to skim this book at best.
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Format: Hardcover
I liked this book because it gave me an insight into the history of RIM (the company that develops and markets the Blackberry). My favorite parts were chapters 2 (birth of ..), 3 (lawsuits ...) and 4 (brand to icon ...). If you are interested in the mobile technology space, especially in anything related to the smartphone, then you must read this book.

Parts of the book were a bit of a drag, and the author appears to be a little too biased in favor of the Blackberry. Nevertheless, the book is worth the $17 I paid for it. It was a quick read and I finished reading it in less than 4 hours.
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Format: Hardcover
Good overview of the company history, the key players, and a chronology of how RIM developed the Blackberry product. The book is not technical and I wish the author dedicated some pages to the infrastructure pieces, as I still have a poor understanding of all the BIS/BES moving components which define the Blackberry service. Other then that, Alastair Sweeney did a great job of covering the NTP lawsuit and the early history. If you're interested in the mobile space, it's a worthwhile investment - pick it up & scan the middle chapters.
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Format: Hardcover
The good news is that chapter 2 was interesting and good and shows that the author has potential writing skills. The bad news is that chapter 1 was total drivel like obama likes his blackberry a lot and a lot of people use it. The rest of the book was boring and lacked any substantial real information.
Unfortunately I would recommend that others spare themselves the agony of reading it.
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