Open main menu

BlackBerry OS is a proprietary mobile operating system developed by Canadian company BlackBerry Limited for its BlackBerry line of smartphone handheld devices. The operating system provides multitasking and supports specialized input devices that have been adopted by BlackBerry for use in its handhelds, particularly the trackwheel, trackball, and most recently, the trackpad and touchscreen.

BlackBerry OS
BlackBerry OS logo
DeveloperBlackBerry Ltd.
Written inC++[1]
OS familyMobile operating systems
Working stateStopped (replaced by BlackBerry 10; and Android)
Source modelClosed source
Initial releaseJanuary 19, 1999; 20 years ago (1999-01-19) (as Version 1.0 for Pager BlackBerry 850)[2]
March 4, 2002; 17 years ago (2002-03-04) (as Version 3.6 for smartphone BlackBerry 5810 Wireless Handheld)[3][4]
Latest release7.1.0.2931 (BlackBerry 9790/9900)[5] / November 2013; 6 years ago (2013-11)
Marketing targetMobile phone
Available inMulti-Lingual
Package managerBlackBerry Desktop Manager
PlatformsBlackBerry line of smartphones
Kernel typeJava virtual machine[clarification needed]
Default user interfaceGraphical
Succeeded byBlackBerry 10

The BlackBerry platform natively supports corporate email, through Java Micro Edition MIDP 1.0 and, more recently, a subset of MIDP 2.0, which allows complete wireless activation and synchronization with Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, or Novell GroupWise email, calendar, tasks, notes, and contacts, when used with BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The operating system also supports WAP 1.2.

Updates to the operating system may be automatically available from wireless carriers that support the BlackBerry over the air software loading (OTASL) service.

Third-party developers can write software using the available BlackBerry API classes, although applications that make use of certain functionality must be digitally signed.

Research from June 2011, indicated that approximately 45% of mobile developers were using the platform at the time of publication.[6]

BlackBerry OS was discontinued after the release of BlackBerry 10 in January 2013, however support for the older OS continued until the end of 2013.[7]

Release historyEdit

Obsolete Current
Table of versions: BlackBerry
Version Release date Features / Information about
11 January 1999; 20 years ago (1999-01) The BlackBerry OS made its debut and it was released for the Pager BlackBerry 850.


March 2002; 17 years ago (2002-03) Released on the BlackBerry 5810 smartphone.


August 4, 2009; 10 years ago (2009-08-04) It was released on the BlackBerry Bold 9000 8520 and came to the other BlackBerry smartphones a short while after its release.


Q3 2010

In April 2010, RIM announced the BlackBerry OS 6.0 version, which was released in the third quarter of 2010.[8] This version included a new WebKit-based browser.[9]


August 2011

It was officially released in August 2011, making its appearance on the BlackBerry Bold (9900/9930), BlackBerry Torch (9810/9850/9860), and the BlackBerry Curve (9350/9360/9370/9380). Any smartphones running an earlier version of the BlackBerry OS could not be updated to version 7.0.[10]


January 2012 It has now been superseded by the BlackBerry 10 operating system, but is still sold by BlackBerry on its smartphones. This was an update to version 7.0 and added several new features compared to 7.0, including[11]
Version Release date Features / Information about

BlackBerry 9720Edit

The BlackBerry 9720 runs a version of BlackBerry OS 7.1 with updates to the user interface that mimics the BlackBerry 10, this includes a new lock screen, redesigned Application Switcher, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Phone apps.


While BlackBerry Ltd. develops and releases updated versions of its operating system to support each device, it is up to the individual carriers to decide if and when a version is released to its users.

Discontinued Still sold[12]
Version Supported devices: BlackBerry 8000 series
4.5 BlackBerry devices in the 8100 and 8800 series, plus BlackBerry Curve 8300/8310/8320.
4.6 BlackBerry Pearl Flip.
5.0 BlackBerry Curve 8330/8350i/8520/8530/8900.
Version Supported devices: BlackBerry 9000 series
5.0 BlackBerry Bold 9000, BlackBerry Storm, BlackBerry Storm 2 and BlackBerry Tour.
6.0 BlackBerry Bold 9650/9700/9780, BlackBerry Curve 9300/9330, BlackBerry Pearl 9100/9105, BlackBerry Style 9670, and BlackBerry Torch 9800.
7.0 BlackBerry Bold 9790/9900/9930, BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360/9370/9380/ BlackBerry Torch 9810/9850/ and BlackBerry Torch 9860.
7.1 BlackBerry Curve 9310/9315/9220/9320 and BlackBerry 9720.

BlackBerry fontsEdit

The following is a list of fonts that were included in some versions of BlackBerry (note: some of them were not included in older versions):[13][14]

BBAlphaSans and BBAlphaSerif are based on the free software DejaVu fonts.[15]

BlackBerry Tablet OSEdit

On September 27, 2010, BlackBerry Ltd. announced a new unrelated QNX-based platform, BlackBerry Tablet OS, to run on its recently released BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer.[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lextrait, Vincent (January 2010). "The Programming Languages Beacon, v10.0". Archived from the original on May 30, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
  2. ^ PhoneDB. "Headlines - OS Specs - PhoneDB - The Largest Phone Specs Database".
  3. ^ PhoneDB. "RIM BlackBerry 5810 - Device Specs - PhoneDB".
  4. ^ "BlackBerry 5810 Wireless Handheld™ e BlackBerry 5820 Wireless Handheld™" (PDF).
  5. ^ "NEW OS (All Lang) FROM O2 UK - BlackBerry Forums at".
  6. ^ "Developer Economics 2011". Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  7. ^ BlackBerry. "BlackBerry 10 handsets confirmed for January 30 launch". Telegraph. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  8. ^ "Official BlackBerry 6 Preview Video from WES 2010". CrackBerry. April 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  9. ^ "Feature and Technical Overview - BlackBerry Browser - 6.0". BlackBerry. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  10. ^ "RIM announces BlackBerry 7 OS with better browser and BlackBerry Balance, but no legacy support". Engadget. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  11. ^ "BlackBerry 7.1 OS and New App Updates Now Available!". Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  12. ^ "BlackBerry smartphones". Fido. May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  13. ^ "What is Your Favorite BlackBerry OS 6 Font?". February 1, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  14. ^ "How to set the font family "ARIAL" in the RichTextField?". July 13, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2011. Prior to OS 5.0, you were restricted to the fonts installed by BlackBerry Ltd. on your Blackberry. If you are trying to get Arial on a pre OS 5.0 device, you can not.
  15. ^ "Like Those Pretty Fonts in OS 4.5+? Thank Bitstream (Bolt) & DejaVu". August 7, 2009.
  16. ^ BlackBerry Ltd. Unveils The BlackBerry PlayBook, official press release, September 27, 2010


External linksEdit