Several years have passed since BlackBerry launched a phone with its own software. The BlackBerry Leap that arrived back in 2015 was the last phone running BlackBerry OS. But if you’re one of the very few people around the world still clinging to those once-beloved phones, the time has come to finally put them in the ground and move on to a new platform. As of January 4th, i.e. tomorrow, BlackBerry will end support for its in-house software for smartphones and tablets.
Following this date, any device running BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10, or BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier, will no longer “reliably function”. In other words, the devices will lose all key functionalities. You will not be able to use BlackBerry OS-powered phones or tablets to make calls, send SMS, browse the internet, or even dial 9-1-1. That’s irrespective of whether you are on Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.
As a PhoneArena report notes, this will also affect the functionality of some first-party apps. These include BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Protect, BlackBerry Messenger, and BlackBerry Blend. BlackBerry’s hosted email addresses are affected as well. So users of this service will now need to switch to some other email provider.
BlackBerry OS will lose support on January 4th
BlackBerry was one of the most dominant forces in the mobile devices space in the late 2000s. But it has been a downward spiral for the company since hitting that peak more than a decade ago. The emergence of iOS and Android with new functionality and features means BlackBerry OS soon ran out of favor. The company tried to reinvent itself with a new version, BlackBerry OS 10, of its software in 2013. But that didn’t help.
After launching a handful of BlackBerry OS 10-powered devices in a couple of years, the company switched to Android in 2015. Unfortunately, it was too late and BlackBerry could never regain what it had lost. Since 2016, BlackBerry has been licensing its brand to third-party manufacturers. TCL made BlackBerry-branded phones for a few years before Texas-based start-up OnwardMobility acquired the license in 2020. The latter was said to launch an Android-powered 5G-enabled Blackberry smartphone in 2021, but we didn’t see it.
While we wait for further news on that, BlackBerry has now put the final nail in the coffin of its in-house devices. The company has provided an FAQ on how to transfer data from your BlackBerry phone to other platforms.