August 11, 2022

Even now working with a classic BlackBerry? It is heading to halt working now, company claims

The finish of the line has eventually arrive for a ton of the previous reliable BlackBerry smartphones still out there. 

The Waterloo, Ont.-primarily based company has officially pulled the plug on the program and infrastructure that powers its legacy smartphones and handheld equipment — which means they will cease functioning right now.

Units operating on the BB10 or BlackBerry OS platform “will no for a longer period reliably functionality, which includes for information, mobile phone phone calls, SMS and 911 calls,” the enterprise claims. Online entry via a Wi-Fi link will also stop provider, which usually means today is the close of the line for the devices that ushered in the era of smartphones before staying still left at the rear of by iPhones and Google-powered Android devices extra than a decade in the past.

“We have been holding off on decommissioning the BlackBerry assistance out of loyalty to our consumers for a extended time,” CEO John Chen stated in a weblog write-up posted today. “So, it stirs combined feelings now, as I publish this … telling you that period has finally come to a near.”

At its peak, there ended up hundreds of hundreds of thousands of BlackBerrys in operation all around the planet, and they had been a trendy accessory for superstars and other ability brokers. U.S. president Barack Obama insisted on remaining ready to still use his when he was inaugurated in 2009. 

Extra than 50 % a 10 years later on, in 2016, Kim Kardashian mourned the dying of hers. But that exact 12 months, much less than a million BlackBerrys were marketed, down from a peak of 50 million smartphones sold in 2011. By 2017, BlackBerry stopped making the devices, as the number of revenue dipped to beneath 100,000 — a stark contrast to the 200 million iPhones Apple marketed that yr.

It is not apparent how numerous people would be immediately afflicted by modern news. CBC News asked the organization how a lot of legacy BlackBerrys were being even now energetic all-around the globe in 2021, but did not listen to back again by publication time. 

“It is sad to see individuals more mature gadgets go, but it truly is not unanticipated,” explained Dave Mason, a longtime BlackBerry person in Didsbury, Alta., who has owned a fifty percent-dozen BlackBerrys over the yrs.

“You can find only so substantially they can put into it time-wise, security-intelligent mainly because all people is possibly using Android or Apple products.”

WATCH | How BlackBerry received left at the rear of in the field it designed:

BlackBerry’s smartphone demise

Whilst the company’s tech was entire world course, BlackBerry ultimately acquired left powering in the smartphone room it invented. 1:06

As of now, any BlackBerry-manufactured phones and tablets — which includes after-familiar names like the Common, the Pearl, the Leap, the Bold and the Playbook — will no for a longer time be in a position to do the responsibilities they were being created to do. “When some functions of BlackBerry 10 equipment may nevertheless work right after the stop of lifestyle date … they could not do so reliably,” the organization stated.

When the enterprise pivoted away from smartphones various years back, it moved the company into other technological fields like cybersecurity, autonomous driving and the Net of Matters. 

“Prospects are, we are extra a portion of your existence today than we at any time had been as a handset business, although you may not even notice it,” Chen stated, noting the company’s software is installed on nearly 200 million vehicles around the world and nearly 500 million online-connected products, and that its cybersecurity division aided thwart 165 million cyberattacks previous year. 

“For a lot of of us, all those BlackBerry units earned a long-lasting position in our hearts, and it’s been unhappy to see them go,” Chen mentioned.

“[But] permitting go of the earlier is always bittersweet, even when a brighter upcoming awaits.”

Android versions must continue to do the job

Though it is tough to understate the symbolism of modern news, it does not automatically mean that every smartphone with a BlackBerry emblem on has just turned into an highly-priced keyboard-enabled brick. The announcement is unique to vintage, legacy equipment created by BlackBerry. 

In recent several years, the company has signed a lot of licensing deals with organizations in China and the U.S. to make BlackBerry-branded devices — some of which don’t have any BlackBerry program under the hood and as an alternative operate on Google’s Android operating program.

The enterprise did not reply to an inquiry from CBC News as to how a lot of such products are in circulation in Canada and about the entire world, but in a assertion did say that any of them that exist will not be impacted, “unless they are getting redirected email sent to a BlackBerry-hosted e-mail deal with.”

“Customers that are working with any of the impacted products can contact their wireless provider for assistance with transitioning to other products,” BlackBerry reported.

Mason won’t have to give up his BlackBerry just but for the reason that it is a variation functioning on Android, but he frets about people telephones being decommissioned upcoming.

“You will find usually a stress in the back of my mind that that may perhaps take place.”