Sixteen years ago today, the first ever BlackBerry device was announced by Research In Motion. While originally the term “BlackBerry” was used to refer to the “breakthrough wireless email solution for mobile professionals,” it would quickly become synonymous with the actual handheld device as well.

Just to be clear, today marks the 16th year of BlackBerry’s (the device) existence, not the company (which was founded in 1984).

RIM’s BlackBerry Handheld, or the BlackBerry 850 Pager as many came to know it, came equipped with some novel specs for a device that you could just carry around with you. It incorporated a 32-bit Intel386 processor with 2 MB Intel Flash memory. According to their press release, it was “designed to be wearable, operate 24 hours per day and run on a single AA alkaline battery.” This device was, in a way, the catalyst for all that would come next.

In case you didn’t know, RIM execs chose the name “BlackBerry” because of the resemblance of its keyboard’s keys to the druplets of the fruit, blackberry.

I personally didn’t have a chance to use the original BlackBerry, but I know a lot of you out there that did, and I’m thinking we can all agree on one thing: Technology has come a long way in a little over a decade and a half.

BlackBerry gives its first ever handset a little birthday shout out on Twitter.

How long have you had your BlackBerry for? Are you a member of the 16 year club? Let us know in the comments below!