#EndOfAnEra: BlackBerry pulls plug on its classic phones
All good things must come to an end. Starting today, you can no longer use that old BlackBerry phone you have loved for so long. The Ontario-based company has announced that BlackBerry devices running on its in-house operating system and services will not be supported after January 4, 2022. It has also mentioned that the devices "will no longer be expected to reliably function."
Why does it matter?
- BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion (RIM), was founded in 1984 and gradually become one of the leading technology companies.
- It was known for its signature handsets with a physical QWERTY keyboard, software security, and the proprietary BBM messaging platform.
- The last version of its operating system was launched in 2013 and since then, the company has kept most of its devices alive.
Applications will also have limited functionality: BlackBerry
BlackBerry devices running on legacy software and services will lack the ability to receive over the air updates and will not function as expected. They will no longer be able to use data, send SMSes, or make calls. Applications will also have limited functionality.
The decision was first announced in 2020
The decision to discontinue the services was first announced in 2020 and the users were later informed that the devices running on legacy services and BlackBerry's in-house operating system will no longer be supported from January 4. BlackBerry stopped making its own smartphones in 2016 and shifted to a software-only business. In 2019, it shut down its iconic BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service as well.
What was the reason for BlackBerry's downfall?
BlackBerry mobile phones were popular among professionals, celebrities, as well as politicians, including former U.S. President Barack Obama. At its peak in 2012, the Canadian company had more than 80 million active users. However, things went south with the arrival of Apple's iPhone and Android smartphones that offered touchscreens, better graphics, and more apps than BlackBerry mobile phones.
A BlackBerry 5G smartphone is reportedly in works
In February 2021, OnwardMobility, the new owner of BlackBerry's mobile division had floated the idea of the arrival of a new 5G BlackBerry smartphone with "a suite of end-to-end security solutions." According to the reports, OnwardMobility is working with Foxconn to develop the smartphone. However, we have not heard anything from the brand so far and its 2022 already.