Old BlackBerry phones will stop working on January 4th

Bottom line: BlackBerry announced this week that it will halt support for older services running its operating system over the next few days. Functionality that simply is no longer there includes basic things like making phone calls and text messages, effectively ending the life of older BlackBerry phones (all models that do not run Android) as communication devices.

The initial announcement that BlackBerry stopped supporting older OS came in September 2020. This week, the company issued a reminder along with a comprehensive Frequently asked questions what users should do. On January 4, older services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier will end.

Devices running these frequently available operating systems will not be able to make calls, send text messages, or even make 9-1-1 calls over mobile or Wi-Fi.

This also includes BlackBerry Desktop, Lin, Blend, World, Protect, Password Keeper, PIN for PIN device messages, Enhanced Sim-based licensing and Identity-based licensing. BlackBerry-hosted email addresses will also stop working, even on other platforms like Android and iOS.

BBM for Enterprise and BBM Enterprise for individual use will still work through the BlackBerry ID outside the expiring operating system. BlackBerry says users should move all data to other devices and platforms and call their service providers where necessary.

In another era, the BlackBerry was a cornerstone of mobile computing before smartphones took over its features. Even in that market, it could not survive people like Apple and Samsung. The end-of-life of BlackBerry’s in-house software has come a long way.

In 2016 BlackBerry stopped build its own phones to focus exclusively on software, launch the last phone designed internally in 2017. In 2020 also TCL stopped manufactures BlackBerry phones. BlackBerry has been offering Android phones ever since.

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