BlackBerry stopped shipping phones and tablets with its own software years ago, switching to Android in 2015 before switching from a hardware company to a software company and outsourcing the design of branded phones BlackBerry to other companies.
But if you stuck with an old BlackBerry phone running BlackBerry OS, you were able to continue using it for some basic tasks like web browsing and phone calls. That changes next week, as BlackBerry has announced that it is end of support for legacy services for BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry PlayBook OS.
Among other things, this means that if you have a phone running BlackBerry 10 or BlackBerry 7.1 OS or earlier, as of January 4, 2022, it will no longer reliably support:
- Phone calls
- 9-1-1 emergency calls
According to BlackBerry, Wi-Fi and mobile data could also become unreliable, and apps such as BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Protect, BlackBerry Messenger, and BlackBerry Blend “will also have limited functionality.”
The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is also reaching end-of-life status, meaning anyone who clings to the decade-old tablet will also find it severely limited starting January 4. But the fact that BlackBerry discontinued the tablet a year after its launch suggests that there have probably never been so many PlayBook owners in the first place, and that number has surely dwindled over the past decade.
People who are still using a device with BlackBerry OS will want see the company’s FAQ for advice on migrating their data to other platforms while they still can.
Although there have been a few attempts to configure older phones like the BlackBerry Bold 9900 to keep working even without BlackBerry services, they generally seem to be a mixed bag. Until now, users could connect to the internet via Wi-Fi and mobile data, but many apps will not work properly, many websites will reject connections from a device without support for the latest internet protocols. security, and you’ll need an older device running BlackBerry OS 7.1, as BlackBerry 10 devices are essentially doorstops with no access to BlackBerry services.
It’s also worth noting that it’s unclear if these steps will continue to work after BlackBerry completely shut down its internet service on January 4.
Update: January 4 has arrived and Confirmation from BlackBerry CEO John Chen that “effective today, BlackBerry has retired the infrastructure and services used by our legacy phone software and operating systems. But a lot users noticed this they or they are still able to make calls, send text messages and connect to the Internet.
It seems likely that the death of BlackBerry phones will happen over time rather than all at once, as various mobile carriers around the world unplug the software and services they had implemented to support the devices running BlackBerry OS.
Going through Hacker News