Blackberry powers off iconic handsets

After 22 years Blackberry is discontinuing one of the most iconic phones on the market with the shutdown to take effect from this week

Canadian software company Blackberry has made the announcement today that it is to discontinue production of the iconic phones after 22 years. Having not manufactured the handsets, nor produced any new models since 2016, the company said on its website that Blackberry devices “will no longer function” as of today (4 January).

In a statement published on 22 December, the company reminded users of the development, affecting services for all of its devices not running on Android software, including the BlackBerry 10, 7.1 OS and earlier.

“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,” it said. 

The rise of Apple and Android accelerated Blackberry’s decline 

 

In 2013, two then-new companies grew - Apple and Android - and together, they changed the mobile world. This meant that for longstanding market players like Blackberry, the end of an era was inevitable, as the company recorded losses of a billion dollars and more. 

However, The American Superbowl almost managed to resurrect the Candaian firm after Backberry was able to buy an advertising slot. However, this didn’t produce the results that Blackberry hoped for, as the company shipped only  5.9 million phones in the second quarter of that year, far less than the nine million new iPhones Apple managed to sell in the first few days after its launch.

Following this, three years later the social network Whatsapp announced that its support for older phones, particularly Blackberries, was to end, stating in a blog post that “When we started WhatsApp in 2009, people's use of mobile devices looked very different from today. The Apple App Store was only a few months old. About 70% of smartphones sold at the time had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia."

From 2016 onwards, Blackberry transitioned from a phone manufacturer to a company that provided security software, as a way of saying thank you to its loyal customers. But as of today, even though we may see the company’s security technology elsewhere, the Blackberry phone as we know and one of the most popular phones in the last decade is to be switched off.

 

Image: TechUnwrapped 

 

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