The Canadian company has decided to pull the plug on new updates of its operating system, meaning most BlackBerries that became synonymous with the emerging mobile digital culture of recent decades — and were embraced by politicians and business executives — will not operate correctly after January 4.
The “end-of-life” (EOL) move, as Blackberry called it, impacts
BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry
PlayBook OS 2.1, and earlier versions.
The company did say, however, that devices using Google’s Android
operating system, including the BlackBerry KEY2 released in 2018 and
designed by China’s TCL Group, would not be affected by the changes.
The EOL decision marks the end of an era in mobile telephony, which
reached its peak in the late 2000s when BlackBerry met with widespread
commercial success, especially among professionals.
The large QWERTY keyboard for easier emailing and the simple,
uncluttered design were favored by business leaders, celebrities,
politicians and journalists.