BlackBerry announced it is decommissioning its mobile devices and legacy services from January 4, 2022. The Canadian tech company said it is ending support for its operating system and that all BlackBerry devices will no longer be usable for calls, texts, data services, and even 911.
“As another milestone in the BlackBerry journey, we will be taking steps to decommission the legacy services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier versions, with an end of life, or termination date, of January 4, 2022,” the company wrote. “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. We have chosen to extend our service until then as an expression of thanks to our loyal partners and customers.”
While the company will no longer manufacture BlackBerry devices for mobile communication, it will expand into intelligent security software to meet the digital security needs of governments and enterprises around the world. The company stated that it will continue to keep the personal and business data of users on its platform for as long as necessary, up to the extent allowed by applicable laws.
BlackBerry hit the stores in 2000 and became a global sensation by 2016 when Apple’s iPhone rolled out. Tech analysts said some of the reasons BlackBerry died out from the market is that it failed to adapt to emerging trends in terms of design, functionality, and consumer insights. In 2018, the company announced plans to stop manufacturing the device; and stated in 2020 that it would partner with OnwardMobility to launch a 5G Android-enabled device with a full QWERTY keyboard in 2021.
“Enterprise professionals are eager for secure 5G devices that enable productivity, without sacrificing the user experience,” OnwardMobility CEO Peter Franklin said in 2020. “BlackBerry smartphones are known for protecting communications, privacy, and data. This is an incredible opportunity for OnwardMobility to bring next-generation 5G devices to market with the backing of BlackBerry and FIH Mobile.”
This promise has not happened and no new BlackBerry device with Android platform is in the market yet. This indicates that the end has come for the device given that mobile phone users have shifted attention to Android and iOS devices.