Classic BlackBerry phones to stop working on January 4th

NEW YORK – Soon you won’t be able to use your old BlackBerry phone lying at the bottom of your drawer somewhere.

Starting Tuesday, January 4, the company will end support for classic devices running BlackBerry 10, 7.1 and earlier operating systems. This means that all of its older devices that don’t run on Android software won’t be able to use data, send text messages, access the internet, or make calls, even with 911.

While most mobile users have moved on from BlackBerry – the last version of the operating system released in 2013 – the move to end support for their phones represents the end of what was once considered a technology. advanced technology.

The company originally announced this news in September 2020 as part of its focus on providing secure software and services to businesses and governments around the world as BlackBerry Limited.

BlackBerry has been largely out of the phone business since 2016, but over the years it has continued to license its trademarks to phone makers, including TCL and more recently OnwardMobility, a startup. security industry based in Austin, Texas, for Blackberry 5G devices running on Android. software. (BlackBerry Android devices are not affected by the end of service.)

Old BlackBerry cell phones with physical keyboards from the late 1990s and early 2000s were once nicknamed “CrackBerries”. The keyboard appeals to professionals who want the flexibility of working outside of the office with some of the tools they use on the desktop.

These devices have become a status symbol and fixture for Wall Streeters, celebrities like Kim Kardashian and even President Barack Obama, thanks in part to their excellent reputation for security. its. At its peak in 2012, BlackBerry had more than 80 million active users.

The company started in 1996 as Research In Motion with a so-called two-way pager. Its first widget, “Inter@ctive Pager”, allows customers to reply to pages using a physical keyboard, a kind of text/email combo. Three years later, RIM introduced the BlackBerry name with the BlackBerry 850.
Finally, BlackBerry phones received support for email, apps, web browsing, and BBM, an encrypted text messaging platform that predated WhatsApp and lasted long after BlackBerry was overtaken by competitors.

But Apple’s touchscreen revolution with the iPhone in 2007 left BlackBerry products lacking. It tried touch screen models and sliding keyboards, with little success. It developed a number of phones that didn’t have a physical keyboard, but those phones lacked BlackBerry’s key differentiator: the tactile keyboard.

BlackBerry eventually gave up on its own software, went with Android, and put security first. It has found some success in enterprise security software and automotive software.

Although TCL has discontinued BlackBerry-branded devices in 2020, some fans are still waiting for the arrival of OnwardMobility’s BlackBerry 5G device, which was originally slated to launch in 2021. Despite the delay, their website still featured a banner that said “2021 coming soon.”

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Dais Johnston

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