(CNN) – Soon you won’t be able to use that old BlackBerry phone at the bottom of your drawer.
As of Tuesday 4 January the company will stop supporting To your classic devices running BlackBerry 10, 7.1 OS and earlier. This means that all of your old devices that don’t run Android software will no longer be able to use data, send texts, access the internet, or make calls, not even 911.
BlackBerry: What was once considered cutting edge technology
Even if Most mobile phone users have abandoned BlackBerry – The latest version of its operating system was released in 2013 – The decision to stop supporting its phones marks the end of what was once considered cutting edge technology.
company Ads The news originally appeared in September 2020 as part of its efforts to focus on providing security software and services to businesses and governments around the world under the BlackBerry Limited name.
Blackberry was mostly outside the phone field Since 2016, but over the years it has continued to license its brand to phone makers, including TCL and more recently OnwardMobility, an Austin, Texas, security startup, for the Blackberry 5G running Android software. (BlackBerry Android devices will not be affected by the end of service.)
Old BlackBerry mobile phones with physical keyboards from the late 1990s and early 2000s were once so popular that people called them “CrackBerries”. The keyboard attracted professionals who wanted the flexibility of working outside the office with some of the tools they used on their desktop computer.
BlackBerry devices have become a status and install symbol for Wall Street folks, celebrities like Kim Kardashian, and even President Barack Obama, thanks in part to their great reputation for security. At its peak, in 2012, BlackBerry had more than 80 million active users.
A success story…until the touch screens arrived
The company began life in 1996 as Research In Motion (RIM) with what it called bi-directional locators. Its first device, the “[email protected] Pager,” allowed customers to reply to pages using a physical keyboard, a kind of hybrid between text and email. Three years later, RIM introduced the BlackBerry name with the BlackBerry 850.
Over time, BlackBerry phones gained support for email, apps, web browsing, and BBM, an encrypted text messaging platform that preceded WhatsApp and survived long after its competitors overtook BlackBerry.
But Apple’s touchscreen revolution with the iPhone in 2007 made BlackBerry’s offerings even less. He’s tried touchscreens and slide-out keyboard models, but with little success. Some phones developed without a physical keyboard, but lacked the BlackBerry highlight key: the touch keyboard.
BlackBerry ended up abandoning its own software, adopting Android, and overlaying its security software. I’ve had some success with corporate and automotive safety programs.
Although TCL stopped making BlackBerry-branded devices in 2020, some fans are looking forward to the arrival of OnwardMobility’s BlackBerry 5G device, which was originally slated to launch in 2021. Despite the delay, a banner still remains. It appears on its website that it reads “Coming 2021“.
Dave Goldman of CNN Business contributed to this report.