A brief history of smartphones

How the smartphone went from a high-end enterprise device to an everyday consumer staple

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In the late 1990s, Canadian company Research in Motion was mostly known for its two-way pagers that were adopted by tens of millions of users worldwide. But starting in 2002, RIM entered the mobile phone market with its BlackBerry 5810 device, a phone with the ability to get e-mail and surf the Web. The major downside of the 5810 was that you needed to plug in a headset in order to talk on the phone. RIM would not release a proper headset-free smartphone until the BlackBerry 6210 came out in early 2004.

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