Bottom line: BlackBerry announced this week that it will end support for legacy services running on its operating system in the next few days. Functionality that simply won’t be there includes basic things like making phone calls and texting, effectively ending the life of older BlackBerry phones (all non-Android models) as communication devices.
The initial announcement that BlackBerry was dropping support for the legacy OS was made in September 2020. The company released a reminder this week along with an extensive FAQ Description what users should do. On January 4, outdated services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier versions, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier versions are terminated.
Devices running these operating systems listed in the FAQ will not be able to make calls, send text messages, or even dial 9-1-1 over cellular or Wi-Fi.
This also includes BlackBerry Desktop, Lin, Blend, World, Protect, Password Keeper, Device PIN Messaging, Sim-based Extended Licensing, and Identity-Based Licensing. Email addresses hosted on BlackBerry will also stop working, even on other platforms such as Android and iOS.
BBM for Enterprise and BBM Enterprise for Individual use will continue to work with BlackBerry IDs outside of the OS that is about to expire. BlackBerry says users should move any data to other devices and platforms by calling their service providers as needed.
In another era, BlackBerry was the mainstay of mobile computing before smartphones took over. Even in this market, he could not survive, like Apple and Samsung. The BlackBerry internal software is long overdue.
In 2016, BlackBerry stopped making its own phones to focus solely on software, releasing its last in-house phone in 2017. TCL also ended production of BlackBerry phones in 2020. Since then, BlackBerry has been offering Android phones.