July 15, 2024

BlackBerry phones will stop working on Tuesday (4)

3 min read
BlackBerry phones will stop working on Tuesday (4)
BlackBerry phones will stop working on Tuesday (4)

Soon, you won’t be able to use your old BlackBerry phone that’s in the back of a drawer somewhere.

Starting next Tuesday (4), the company will stop supporting its classic devices with BlackBerry 10, 7.1 OS and earlier. This means that BlackBerry mobile phones, even with Wi-Fi or a cellular network, will not be able to make calls, send texts, use data, send SMS messages, or even make calls to emergency numbers. BlackBerry Android devices continue to function normally.

While most mobile phone users have left BlackBerry — the latest version of its operating system was released in 2013 — the move to stop support for their phones marks the end of what was once considered cutting edge technology.

The company was announced in September 2020. At the time, it justified the decision as part of efforts to increase the focus of security programs and services for businesses and governments around the world under the BlackBerry Limited name.

Since 2016, BlackBerry has mostly stayed out of the phone business, but over the years has continued to license its brand to phone makers including TCL and more recently OnwardMobility, a security startup in Austin, Texas, for a 5G BlackBerry running Android software.

BlackBerry Android devices will not be affected by the end of service.

Old BlackBerry mobile phones with physical keyboards from the late 1990s and early 2000s were once so popular that people called them “CrackBerries”. The keyboard attracted professionals who wanted the flexibility of working away from the office with some of the tools they used on their desktop computer.

The devices have become a status symbol and accessory for people on Wall Street, celebrities like Kim Kardashian and even President Barack Obama, thanks in part to their great safety reputation. At its peak in 2012, BlackBerry had more than 80 million active users.

The company started in 1996 as Research In Motion (RIM) with what it called a two-way pager. The first tool, ‘Inter@ctive Pager’ allowed customers to reply to pages using a physical keyboard, a type of mixed text/email. Three years later, RIM introduced the BlackBerry name with the BlackBerry 850.

Eventually, BlackBerry phones gained support for email, apps, web browsing, and BBM, an encrypted text messaging platform that preceded WhatsApp and survived long after its competitors overtook BlackBerry.

But Apple’s touchscreen revolution with the iPhone in 2007 made BlackBerry’s offerings look slim. Tried touch screens and sliding keyboard models with little success. Some phones developed without a physical keyboard, but without the main BlackBerry feature: the touch keyboard.

BlackBerry eventually abandoned its own software, adopted Android, and developed its own security software. It has had some success with enterprise security software and automotive software.

Although TCL stopped making BlackBerry-branded devices in 2020, some fans are waiting for the arrival of OnwardMobility’s BlackBerry 5G device, which was originally supposed to be released in 2021. Despite the delay, the site is still Its web displays a banner that says “Coming in 2021.”

Dave Goldman of CNN Business contributed to this report*.

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