Yes I know, the title rather gives it away...
That said I think such an achievement deserves a mention especially for a company which consistently delivers top notch devices year in year out.
The figure - again I say 50,000,000 - has a nice tie in too with RIM's tenth anniversary and for those who (somehow) can't do the math: that translates to roughly 5m per year on average. Of course this doesn't hold water given the early years saw proportionately tiny sales compared to the last three or four but it's one heck of a success story for a little business from Canada.
By comparison, Apple has shipped 13m iPhones but it is never likely to play away from the premium sector. At the other end of the scale Nokia ships close to a billion handsets a year - but you wouldn't touch the vast majority in the budget sector with a barge pole.
Of course it's an interesting transitional time for RIM as handsets seem intent on moving towards a touchscreen interface (whether or not that includes a supplementary physical keyboard/keypad) and its first effort - the BlackBerry Storm - is something of a Marmite handset, heavily dividing users (personally speaking, I'm not a fan).
That said, the last year has brought the Curve 8900 and Bold, undoubtedly two of its best handsets to date and I suspect the second generation of the Storm to right many of its wrongs. 10 more years to sell another 50 million? I very much doubt it...