Friends, they have gathered here today to mourn the passing of BlackBerry, the once-loved monarch of the mobile world. And, sure, While realise this isn’t the first time we’ve announced the company’s or devices’ demise (and, for reasons I’ll explain below, it won’t be the last), but legacy BlackBerry hardware is coming to an end.
BlackBerry’s own software – BlackBerry 7.1 or earlier, BlackBerry 10, or its tablet operating system BlackBerry PlayBook — would “no longer reliably function” as of January 4th, according to the firm. There’s no assurance you’ll be able to make phone calls, send text messages, use data, establish an SMS connection, or even contact 9-1-1, whether you’re on Wi-Fi or cellular. To us, that seems pretty much dead.
If you or someone you care about is still using an original BlackBerry for some odd reason, make it a New Year’s resolve to peel it gently but firmly from their grip. It’ll be nothing more than a paperweight from January 4th onwards. (However, BlackBerry devices that run Android will continue to function normally.)
However, as previously stated, this may not be the last BlackBerry fatality they hear about. Since its dominant phase in the late 2000s, when its QWERTY keyboards and reputation for security won it a 50% market share in the US, the corporation has been on a gradual and painful fall, yet such a storied brand must be wrung for its last dregs of value. (BlackBerry Limited, the company’s parent, has shifted its focus to cybersecurity software.)
BlackBerry attempted (and failed) to relaunch itself in 2013 with BlackBerry 10, a new operating system, and then switched to manufacture Android devices in 2015. (which failed, too). The company then began licencing its brand to third-party manufacturers such as TCL in 2016. This is how the BlackBerry name lives on, and in 2020, OnwardMobility, a Texas-based company, announced that it would be releasing a 5G Android-powered BlackBerry tablet with a full QWERTY keyboard in 2021.
Well, the time is ticking on that one (OnwardMobility hasn’t released any news or updates on its website since January 2021), but whether it survives or dies, it will at the very least give us another funeral to attend.