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 is ending support for smartphones and tablets running on its OS
- These devices will no longer receive or make phone calls and texts, use data or call 911 as of January 4
- However, Android-powered BlackBerry devices will still have service
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.’
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
Blackberry first hit the market in 2000 and became the must-have for professionals, as the smartphone allowed users to easily write and send emails.
The smartphone saw a dramatic increase in popularity from 2001 to 2007, as it made its way around the world.
However, in 2016, Blackberry lost its throne as top smartphone in 2016, which was mainly due to Apple’s iPhone.
And in the end, it was BlackBerry’s failure to adapt, lack of consumer insight and poor design that led to its demise in 2018 when the company announced it would stop producing the smartphone.
‘There is no impact to the new BlackBerry Protect which is an AI-based endpoint security solution,’ according to BlackBerry
The last version of the BlackBerry OS it released dates to 2013, so the devices set to lose support are very old, Ars Technica reports.
The change set for next month is that BlackBerry will no longer release updates to these devices.
‘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 shared in the announcement.
‘There is no impact to the new BlackBerry Protect which is an AI-based endpoint security solution.’
In 2020, a Texas firm named OnwardMobility said it would be making a 5G Android-powered BlackBerry device with a full QWERTY keyboard to release in 2021 – but the company has yet to release the promised smartphone.
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.