BlackBerry OS devices are about to be bricked, what you need to know


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Remember when Blackberry was THE smartphone brand, before the rise of Apple and Samsung as dominant players (and now others)? It was a good, long race. Some of you may still own and use legacy BlackBerry devices, and if so, be aware that support ends next week. When this happens, you may not even be able to make an emergency 9-1-1 call on your phone.
BlackBerry will finally start phasing out its older devices that are running BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 softwareand BlackBerry PlayBook 2.1 and earlier on January 4, 2022.

“As of this date, devices running these legacy services and software over carrier or Wi-Fi connections will no longer function reliably, including data, phone calls, text messages, and 9-1-1 functionality. We have chosen to extend our service this far as a thank you to our loyal partners and customers,” BlackBerry states on an FAQ page.

Blackberry devices running Android will not be affected, except for those who receive emails redirected to an email address hosted on BlackBerry or those who are assigned an enhanced simulation-based license (ESBL or Identity Based License (IBL)). Users of an email address hosted on BlackBerry will want to make sure to switch to a new one before January 4th.

“If an iOS or Android device, including BlackBerry Android devices, has an ESBL or IBL license, the customer will need to obtain a standard license to cover their use of BlackBerry Enterprise Services with that device,” BlackBerry explains.

Blackberry z10
Dozens of BlackBerry models are about to be retired, including the BlackBerry Classic, BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Z10/Z30/Z3, BlackBerry Bold 9000 series, BlackBerry Torch (the first touchscreen handset from society) and many others. If in doubt, you can see the full list at BlackBerry FAQs.

BlackBerry says it will continue to retain personal information “for as long as necessary to fulfill BlackBerry’s identified purposes” or to comply with applicable laws. Whenever the company deems it is no longer necessary, it will “delete, destroy, erase or anonymize your data”. If you’re not comfortable with this, you can submit a request to privacyoffice at blackberry dot com to immediately delete your data, the company says.

So anyway, when you’re popping the champagne to celebrate a new year, pour one for older BlackBerry devices.

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