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End of an Era: BlackBerry Shutdown services for its Legacy Devices

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BlackBerry has finally shutdown services for its classic devices. This means that BlackBerry would no longer support many of the devices that used to be hot on users’ palms.

The shutdown of services for BlackBerry devices is part of the end of life (EOL) decommissioning programme that was initially announced in 2020.

In a statement made on the 22nd of December, BlackBerry reminded its users of the impending shutdown of the so-called legacy services.

“As a reminder, 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,” BlackBerry said in the statement on its website.

This implies that BlackBerry devices would no longer be able to carry out data, SMS, phone calls, and emergency services.

“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 911 functionality,” BlackBerry added.

BlackBerry, however, noted that its Android-powered devices “will not be impacted by the EOL of infrastructure services, unless they are receiving redirected email sent to a BlackBerry hosted email address, or assigned an Enhanced Sim Based License (ESBL) or Identity Based License (IBL).”

Read also: Does leaving your phone plugged all night damage your battery?

BlackBerry used to be a symbol of class among middle to high class people, including celebrities and top business executives. Using a BlackBerry device sets a tone of “achievement” among young adults, especially in tertiary institutions.

The former top-ranking device reached its peak influence in 2012, but started losing the top spot after technology moved away from physical keyboard to ‘touch-screen’, and when Android and Apple dominated the mobile operating system world.

BlackBerry also lost out when it dragged too long to decentralize its messaging service – BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). This made room for WhatsApp, Viber, and other decentralized messaging apps to kick BBM to the back.

To save itself, the company, which was formerly known as Research in Motion, moved away from making phones. It remodelled into a software company and focuses on providing “intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments.”

The company stopped producing its own devices in 2016, and instead, gave license to TLC Communication Technology Holdings to produce BlackBerry devices till 2020.

In 2020, BlackBerry partnered with OnwardMobility to start production of a new line of Android-powered BlackBerry devices, but so far, nothing has surfaced.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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