BlackBerry shuts off smartphone legacy services signalling end of an eraBlathnaid O’Deaon January 4, 2022 at 10:09 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic


BlackBerry said its phones will not work from today (4 January) as the company switches off support for its operating system.

In a statement updated on 22 December, the company warned users that “legacy services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier versions, will no longer be available after January 4, 2022.”

“As of this date, devices running these legacy services and software through either carrier or Wi-Fi connections will no longer reliably function, including for data, phone calls, SMS and 9-1-1 functionality.”

The company’s announcement was initially published in September last year. It thanked its customers and invited users to follow its transition into the cybersecurity market.

The former smartphone giant dominated the market in the late noughties. However, the iPhone’s launch in 2007 saw Apple gradually surpass BlackBerry and Nokia. The Canadian company’s QWERTY keypads fell out of fashion as touch screen smartphones increased in popularity.

In 2019, BlackBerry shut down its once popular BBM messaging service due to a lack of users. Three years prior, BlackBerry moved its BBM server to Indonesia when it partnered with Indonesian tech company Emtek.

The partnership was short-lived, with Emtek blaming the popularity of other messaging services for BBM’s decline in users.

Attempts at releasing newer smartphones including the Z10 and Q10 in 2013 were not enough to resurrect BlackBerry from the ashes.

In 2016, BlackBerry left the smartphone market and now provides cybersecurity services to governments and enterprises around the world. Its transition to a software company was overseen by CEO John Chen.

Last April, the company’s senior vice-president at its technology labs, Sarah Tatsis, spoke to about the importance of security and why it needs to be factored in at the product development stage.

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