BlackBerry phones will stop working for good this week
Bye-bye BlackBerry: Company is set to kill support for its classic smartphones running on its own operating system on January 4 – 22 years after the device first hit the market
BlackBerry, the Canadian company that took the world by storm in 2000 with its classic smartphone, announced Friday that it is killing support for the iconic device.
On January 4, 2022, any devices running on BlackBerry 7.1 and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software and BlackBerry OS 2.1 and earlier will all go dark.
This means such technologies will no longer receive or make phone calls and texts, use data or call 911.
BlackBerry says in the announcement that WiFi and mobile data might also become unreliable, and applications including BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Protect, BlackBerry Messenger, and BlackBerry Blend ‘will also have limited functionality.’
The internet-enabled keyboard-toting smartphones were the hottest business accessory and were favoured by the likes of Barack Obama and Kim Kardashian.
But, sadly, BlackBerry’s fortunes diminished as the iPhone gained popularity and the Canadian company switched to making security-focused software.
For a time, the BlackBerry name was licenced to a Chinese manufacturer named TCL, but that came to an end in 2020.
‘The termination of these service offerings and infrastructure will also impact functionality for applications such as Enhanced Sim Based Licensing (ESBL) / Identity Based Licensing (IBL), BlackBerry hosted email addresses, BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, BlackBerry Blend, BlackBerry Protect (allows consumers to lock, locate or wipe BBOS, BlackBerry 10 devices remotely,’ BlackBerry said in a statement.
‘There is no impact to the new BlackBerry Protect which is an AI-based endpoint security solution.’
Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility, said last year: ‘Enterprise professionals are eager for secure 5G devices that enable productivity, without sacrificing the user experience.’
‘BlackBerry smartphones are known for protecting communications, privacy, and data. This is an incredible opportunity for OnwardMobility to bring next-generation 5G devices to market with the backing of BlackBerry and FIH Mobile.’
The OnwardMobility website still mentions the Android-powered Blackberry, but shows it is only taking pre-orders still and no statement of when it will be released.