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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (Sept. 4 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470159405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470159408
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #417,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

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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Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are two different things in BlackBerry Planet: the first chapter and the two last ones are a so-called reflection on mobility, and they must be skipped. The author is not a philosopher, and his concept of "telebrain" is pathetic. Fortunately the core of the book is about the BlackBerry itself and it is interesting. It offers a summary about the main events of the history of the company and its two co-CEOs. One chapter is excellent, though: the one on the NTP lawsuit when a patent troll went to court to extort money from RIM and almost killed the company (Chapter 3 - Lawsuits in motion).

Those interested in a more exhaustive history of the BlackBerry should read Rod McQueen's book (BlackBerry, The Inside Story of Research In Motion). Though an auhorized history, this latter work is much better than BlackBerry Planet, more complete and better written.

P.S. Curiously, Alastair Sweeny has a PhD in philosophy, but it does not show in BlacBerry Planet!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Lemay on April 26 2010
Format: Hardcover
I liked the section of the social effects of BlackBerry use and abuse. There is also a good Web support site at [...], with lots of illustrations and a sample chapter
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve H on Dec 8 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book misses the technology details. That is the story that's missing. He fails to list the complete long list of lies RIM made to developers and fails to thoroughly explain the various ways RIM held back innovation, stole ideas, cheated competitors or partners and forced themselves into the market. This book should be a story in the newspaper....not a few hundred pages. It only barely touches on each topic. Where is the part about how their switch to Java killed the performance, or how terrible their languages and understanding of software devleopent was...or how much they DID NOT DO RIGHT with respect to their partnering programs...and why developers are not really interested in writing apps for RIM....or how they bought out public and private companies technology secretly, like Nextair - who's development platform and IP actually became a huge part of RIM's future development platform - and then how RIM chopped the Nextair AIRIX technology down to nothing. If Jim were a programmer...look out. Things would have been done differently. He's a brilliant guy....but he hired the wrong people at times - and they suffered. I'll wait to read the story in 5 years...and this book will be a blip on the radar in years to come. It's pretty useless.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Blackberry Planet: a must-read for mobile industry folks Nov. 1 2009
By Shankar Saikia - Published on
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.
Crackberry story Jan. 1 2010
By Ilya Grigorik - Published on
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.
Fair at Best June 1 2011
By Brooklyn Joe - Published on
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.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
boring drivel Dec 4 2009
By Cathy S - Published on
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.
Editorial needed Oct. 30 2013
By S. I. Momma of 3 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book has many grammatical errors. It would be a easier read if it was proof-read prior to publishing. It gives the information sought in researching BlackBerry/RIM.