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In pictures: The evolution of BlackBerry's mobile devices

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company unveiled its first smartphone in 2003, but recent releases have failed to win back customers

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Inter@ctive Pager

Released in 1995, the BlackBerry pager marked the beginning of BlackBerry’s rise to the top of the mobile device market. The pagers featured the debut of several technologies that would become synonymous with BlackBerry, including a mobile keyboard, two-way messaging, and delivery notification.

TIBOR KOLLEY/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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Quark

For many users, the BlackBerry 6000 line of devices, dubbed “Quark,” were the original smartphones. These were among the first BlackBerry devices that featured a full keyboard and gave users the ability to make phone calls. Launched in 2003, these phones essentially helped create the smartphone industry.

HANDOUT/RESEARCH IN MOTION

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Pearl

The Pearl series of smartphones marked the first time BlackBerry designed a device with consumers, rather than enterprise customers, in mind. Released two years before the iPhone, the Pearl was the first BlackBerry smartphone to feature significant multimedia functions, such as a camera and media player. However the lack of a full keyboard limited its appeal with traditional BlackBerry customers.

FRED LUM/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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Bold

For many die-hard BlackBerry fans, the Bold line of smartphones constitutes perhaps the best devices the company has ever made. The first Bold devices, featuring BlackBerry’s distinctive keyboard, was released in 2008, when the company was still the leading smartphone powerhouse.

MIKE CASSESE/REUTERS

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Z10

The first of BlackBerry’s new generation of smartphones. Released earlier this year, the Z10 is a high-end touchscreen device designed to compete with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy line. So far, however, the Z10 has not sold particularly well, raising concerns about BlackBerry’s ability to build compelling devices that don’t feature its distinctive keyboard.

MARK BLINCH/REUTERS

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Q5

Perhaps the most important phone from BlackBerry’s new generation of devices, the Q5 is a mid-tier keyboard device aimed at cost-conscious buyers. First released outside North America, it arrives in Canada this week, as BlackBerry tries to gain a foothold in the growing low-end of the smartphone market.

HANDOUT/RESEARCH IN MOTION

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