Say Goodbye to All Blackberry Devices on January 4th

The firm has decided to pivot into an intelligent security software firm.
Loukia Papadopoulos

In August of 2020, it looked like BlackBerry was making a comeback since TCL had dropped it announcing it would introduce new smartphones with physical QWERTY keyboards, along with 5G connectivity sometime in 2021. The once-supreme purveyor of QWERTY smartphones, BlackBerry aimed at the time to return to European and North American markets in 2021 — thanks to a new licensing partnership with FIH Mobile Limited and OnwardMobility.

Those plans and the new devices seem to have all failed as Blackberry is now announcing that any phones or tablets running on BlackBerry’s own software (BlackBerry 7.1 or earlier, BlackBerry 10) will “no longer reliably function" starting January 4th. The failure to operate will even extend to the firm's tablet operating system BlackBerry PlayBook.

"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. 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," said a company statement.

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What's next for BlackBerry?

However, this does not spell the end of the company, the firm will now be focused on providing intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world. It does, however, spell a brutal death for all Blackberry devices and although we doubt many people were still using them it is sad to see them go along with their QWERTY keyboards.

Some of you may be wondering what will happen to the data stored by Blackberry. The firm said in its statement that it holds on to that information for as long as "necessary for the fulfillment of BlackBerry’s identified purposes or as otherwise necessary to comply with applicable laws."