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The movie “BlackBerry”, based on the story of the company that manufactured the first smartphones, long before the iPhones of Steve Stobbs, the devices that quickly conquered a large part of the mobile phone market in the USA and in several European countries and since then they are in the first two positions of smartphone sales worldwide.

The film’s trailer, which was released a few days ago, tells the story of the rise and fall of the company that created the “BlackBerry”, Research In Motion, in which the Greek-Canadian entrepreneur plays a central role Mike Lazaridisplayed by the Canadian actor Jay Baruchel.

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According to his bio, Mike Lazaridis was born Michael Lazaridis in Constantinople to Greek parents of Pontic descent. In 1966 and at the age of 5, his family moved to Windsor, Ontario, Canada. At the age of 12, he won a local contest at the Windor Public Library because he managed to read every science book available. In 1979, he enrolled at the University of Waterloo majoring in electrical engineering, with a minor in computer science. In 1984, Mike Lazaridis was asked by General Motors (GM) to develop an electronic control system for display networks, and after completing his research, the company awarded him a $600,000 contract.

In the same year, he leaves his studies, two months before graduating. With the money he received from the company, a small government grant, the amount of 15,000 dollars borrowed from his parents, he and Mike Barnstijn (Mike Barnstijn) and Douglas Fregin (Douglas Fregin) were allowed to establish the company Research In Motion. One of the company’s first achievements was the development of barcode technology on film. The company then reinvested the profits in its research into wireless data transmission, eventually leading to the introduction of the first BlackBerry in 1999, a two-way buzzer that allowed the user to receive and send emails wherever and whenever they were. In no time at all, BlackBerry changed the way businesses operated. Executives could now work much more efficiently when traveling or out of the office. Email has replaced the telephone as the preferred mode of communication in the business world.

In 2002, Research In Motion released the first BlackBerry mobile phone, combining voice calls and emails on the same device, and that’s when the company really took off. Every businessman or company executive walked around with a BlackBerry. Even the youngest, employees of brokerage firms, were constantly consulting BlackBerrys. And without anyone realizing it, RIM managed to conquer the most demanding users, namely teenagers, since long before WhatsApp and Messenger, BlackBerry enabled them to exchange messages without using up their mobile units.

At the height of its glory, BlackBerry had a 50% market share in smartphones. In 2007, RIM was the most valuable company on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with a market capitalization of $67 billion, as BlackBerry counted 10 million subscribers. Among them, Barack Obama, who fought with his personal security men to be able to keep his beloved BlackBerry, when he crossed the threshold of the White House.

With an estimated fortune of $800 million, Mike Lazaridis was ranked by Forbes magazine in 2007 as the 17th richest Canadian and 651st worldwide. Mike Lazaridis made TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most important people in the world, and in June 2008, his company’s stock hit an all-time high of $149.90.

But then, the global crisis hit and above all… the iPhone. The truth is that RIM executives underestimated Apple’s smartphone, which was first released in early 2007. It was, of course, an unequal race against what would turn out to be the most successful consumer product of all time. But in trying to defend its share of a market it created, RIM has always been one step behind Apple.

In January 2012, pressure from investors, a lack of favorable financial results and a drop in its stock to $6, led the two co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsilli to resign as CEO and chairman of the board, and were replaced by Thorstin Hines, as managing director, and Barbara Stymiest as chairman of the board of directors. In fact, the alarming financial results and the reduction of the company’s market share from 18% to 8%, lead the other co-founder of the company, Jim Balsillie, to leave the telecommunications group for good.

Ultimately, the company was forced to accept its defeat in smartphones and focus on the software market. Today, BlackBerry provides software security services to businesses and government agencies.

The film is based on the 2015 book Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff.