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Blast from the past: BlackBerry ending support for its phones on Jan 4

Remember BlackBerry phones? Fun times! However, starting from Jan 4, you might hear about them less. After that date, support will end officially for its classic phones.

BlackBerry used to rule the corporate world and consumer space with its phones. However, the Canadian company fell off and has been supplanted by the iPhone and Android phones. The decline began more than a decade ago, and the company is rapidly winding down its operations in January.

Beginning from Jan 4, all BlackBerry 10 phones and those running BlackBerry 7.1 software or earlier will no longer work well on carrier networks or Wi-Fi. In other words, the phones won’t be able to make phone calls, use data, send SMS, or even make 911. You are now saddled with a paperweight if you still have a classic BlackBerry.

Factually, not many people will be affected by this development, as many BlackBerry users have moved on to other devices. The last version of BlackBerry 10 was released in 2013, while the BlackBerry line of phones was discontinued in 2016 when the company shifted its focus to security software.

This end of service does not impact BlackBerry phones running on Android. Chinese manufacturer TCL bought the right to make Android-powered phones in 2016 and released the BlackBerry KeyOne and BlackBerry Key2.

TCL has stopped using the BlackBerry brand on its phones but will support the existing ones till August 2020. Another company, OnwardMobility, revealed it would make BlackBerry-branded Android phones in 2021, but nothing has been heard from the company as the year rolls to an end.

Similarly, BBM Enterprise and BBM Enterprise for Individual Use will still be available on other phone platforms. However, “users of BlackBerry hosted email addresses or using email redirection for these addresses, will need to move to a new email address.”

These days, BlackBerry sees itself as a software company and reports it has made “great strides executing on our business strategy and today, we are focused on providing intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world.”

BlackBerry explains why it is executing end of life:

“Today BlackBerry is focused on providing intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world. Since pivoting to an enterprise software and cybersecurity company, we have received questions about our plans to provide ongoing support for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier and BlackBerry 10 devices. In 2017, we committed to providing at least two more years of support for BlackBerry 10 and at least two years of BlackBerry network access for BBOS devices. 

“On Jan 4, 2022, devices running on these service offerings through either carrier or Wi-Fi connections will no longer reliably function, including for data, phone calls, SMS and 9-1-1 functionality. We have chosen to extend our service until then as an expression of thanks to our loyal partners and customers.

“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. There is no impact to the new BlackBerry Protect which is an AI-based endpoint security solution).”

Written by HackerVibes

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