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03rd Jan 2022

BlackBerry phones will officially stop working this week as company ends all software support

Charlie Herbert

The life support on BlackBerry phones is being switched off

There was a time when you couldn’t avoid the BlackBerry. From Barack Obama to Kim Kardashian, every man and his dog seemed to have one of them in the late 2000s/early 2010s, and if you weren’t on BBM then you were a nobody.

But in one of the great rise and falls of our time, the BlackBerry went out of fashion just as quickly as it seemed to enter the mainstream. Overtaken by the iPhone and outpaced by the likes of Samsung, the company’s fortunes diminished.

And now, the last remaining ones out there in the wild will be brought to an end, after the company announced that it would be pulling the plug on all its software support for devices this week.

From January 4, services for the phone will end. This means that the devices will “no longer reliably function” and will be unable to make phone calls, send texts, receive data or contact emergency numbers.

Last year, the company said in a statement: “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.”

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A failure to adapt, a lack of  consumer insight and poor design have all contributed to its demise, and in 2016 the company announced it had transitioned into making software and providing security tools to companies and governments.

Whilst the phones have effectively been dead for some time now, any remaining BlackBerrys out there in the world will finally die for good tomorrow.

Even the company statement described it as an “end of life termination.”

So if you still own one of these QWERTY-keyboard flaunting devices, say your goodbyes. Their life support is being switched off. Let go of the 2011 nostalgia, it is officially over.