January 6 2022: It is the end for Blackberry the first truly ‘smart’ phone famousfor its QWERTY keyboard and the ability to send and receive email.The company has decommissioned its services .
A Blackberry announcement on December 22 2021 read: "The legacy services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier versions, will no longer be available after 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."
While most mobile users have moved on from the Blackberry-- the last version of its operating system launched in 2013 -- the move to discontinue support for its phones represents the end of what was once considered bleeding-edge technology.
BlackBerry's old school cell phones with physical keyboards from the late 1990s and early 2000s were once so popular people nicknamed them "CrackBerries." The keyboard appealed to professionals who wanted the flexibility of working outside the office with some of the tools they used on a desktop computer.The devices became a status symbol and fixture for people on Wall Street, and celebrities like President Barack Obama, thanks in part to its great reputation for security. At its peak in 2012, BlackBerry had more than 80 million active users. ( CNN)
A Wired story says: BlackBerry once ruled the smartphone market. Its keyboard-based hardware was widely adopted in corporate settings, in part because the services it provided typically ran through BlackBerry servers, allowing for high levels of security and control.
BlackBerry's leadership was blindsided by the iPhone's popularity. BlackBerry dismissed onscreen keyboards and counted on its stranglehold on corporate services for market share. The company took over a year after the iPhone's release to come out with its own touchscreen phone, and its software remained an awkward mix of old and new for some time after. In the meantime, corporate users fell in love with their Apple and Android phones and compelled IT departments to support them.
BlackBerry eventually gave up on its own phones and started releasing Android versions before exiting the hardware business entirely (it now primarily provides corporate security services). The last version of the BlackBerry OS it released dates back to 2013, so the devices affected here are now extremely old.
In 2016, BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen announced that the company’s transition to a software company was complete. Today BlackBerry is focused on providing intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world.
Android-powered devices carrying the BlackBerry name won’t be affected.