BlackBerry was an early leader in the smartphone industry, but after the introduction of the iPhone and countless Android devices, the company quickly fell behind in market share.
BlackBerry eventually switched its phones to Android, starting with the 2015 BlackBerry Priv, but the company kept its own mobile operating system functional for a while longer. However, the servers keeping BlackBerry OS alive are finally being turned off this week.
BlackBerry first announced back in September 2020 that its legacy services would stop working on January 4, 2022, and as Phone Arena pointed out, the shutdown date has nearly arrived.
The original statement reads, “devices running BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier software, BlackBerry 10 software, and BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier software through either carrier or Wi-Fi connections will no longer reliably function” after January 4.
BlackBerry’s Android-powered devices, such as the KeyOne, Key2, and Key2 LE, will continue to function as they do now (though most of those aren’t receiving security updates).
However, all devices running the company’s own operating system will lose access to BlackBerry Protect, BlackBerry Password Keeper, BlackBerry ID, PIN to PIN device messaging, hosted email addresses, and just about everything else that relies on external servers. It’s also not guaranteed that access to emergency calling will continue working, but with most carriers migrating to VoLTE, that was going to break anyway (if it hasn’t already).
If you’re still rocking a pre-Android BlackBerry phone, it’s probably time to move onto greener pastures. There aren’t any newer BlackBerry devices worth switching to, as the newest option is still the Key2 LE from 2018, but the Unihertz Titan Pocket is one option for a modern Android device with a physical keyboard. OnwardMobility is supposedly still working on a 5G Android phone with the BlackBerry brand, but there’s no telling when that will be available, or if the phone will be any good.