RIM Blackberry 5790

Dublin Core


RIM Blackberry 5790


hardware: mobile communication device


Historical Context:

Between 1996 and 2004, Research in Motion (RIM, Waterloo, Ontario) released several generations of wireless communications devices: the Inter@ctive 800, 900, 850, and 950 two-way pagers, the RIM Wireless Handsets 857 and 957 as well as the BlackBerry 5000-, 6000-, and 7000-series smartphones. By 2004, RIM was a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. By the end of that year, the Blackberry wireless platform (the Blackberry Enterprise Solution that featured integrated hardware, software, and service) was adopted by thousands of corporations and the company reported over two million subscribers worldwide.  Although smartphones represented the main line of RIM's wireless handsets, wireless data-only devices, such as the 957 Wireless Handset, were still being sold to government and large  enterprise customers to support secure data-only communications (such as emails and messages). For those customers, RIM upgraded its 957 handset  and released it as the Blackberry 5790 in the mid 2004.

According to RIM's October 26, 2004 press release, the Blackberry 5790 "integrates email and data access to allow users to manage all of their information and data communications with a single device. It is specifically designed for business and government customers that require a specialized data-only handheld with secure communications. The BlackBerry 5790 includes fully validated FIPS 140-2 embedded encryption technology to meet government security requirements."

The 5790 was housed in the same enclosure as the 957 handset but was packed with updated hardware and Java-based software. The 5790 operated, for instance, on Velocita Wireless' Mobitex network and was offered in both the United States and Canada.

Technical Specifications:
  • processor: 32-bit
  • memory: 16 MB flash and 2 MB SRAM
  • display: full-graphic LCD (grey/monochrome, backlit), 160x160 pixel viewing area, 16 or 20 line display (user-selectable)
  • keyboard and controls: 34-key QWERTY-style (backlit), mouse-type scroll wheel
  • ports: RS-232C-compliant serial port
  • modem: embedded RIM modem
  • networks: 900MHz Mobitex
  • battery: internal lithium-ion rechargeable

External Design:
  • housing: palm-held, ruggedized, plastic
  • size: 11.7cm(L) x 7.85cm(W) x 1.8cm(H)
  • weight: 138g

Main Features:
  • email: integration with an existing enterprise email account or up to 10 personal/business email accounts (including Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes, MSN, Hotmail, AOL as well as POP3/Internet Service Provider email accounts)
  • attachment service
  • Web services: a variety of optional Web services that allowed mobile access to information including news, travel,  business, and entertainment updates
  • designed to work with BlackBerry Enterprise Server supported by:
             v. 2.1 or higher for Microsoft Exchange
             v. 2.0 with Service Pack 2 or higher from IBM Lotus  Domino
             v. 4.0 or higher for Novell GroupWise
  • icon and menu driven interface
  • wireless calendar
  • address book
  • task list
  • memo pad
  • calculator
  • alarm
  • notifications: tone, vibrate, on-screen, or LED indicator
  • configurable options
  • password protected device lock

  • BlackBerry OS, v. 3.x
  • Blackberry Desktop Software v. 1.6 or higher
  • The BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE)


Research in Motion (RIM)







Research in Motion (RIM), “RIM Blackberry 5790,” York University Computer Museum Canada, accessed September 29, 2023, https://museum.eecs.yorku.ca/items/show/315.

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