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Blackberry phones will stop working on January 4, signaling the end of an era for the iconic cellphone

Blackberry users said goodbye to the iconic device after its legacy software stopped working on January 4, 2022.

Pal Pillai/AFP via Getty Images

  • Blackberry users said goodbye to the iconic device on January 4, 2022.
  • The phone’s legacy software was decommissioned, meaning all classic Blackberry phones can no longer be used.
  • The Blackberry, at its peak, was a favorite of top execs, but was phased out in favor of touchscreen smartphones.

It’s the end of an era for Blackberry users. On January 4, the company behind the iconic black phone with its QWERTY keypad officially decommissioned the use of its software — meaning classic Blackberry devices running on the company’s operating system will no longer work. 

“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,” said the company in a statement dated December 22, 2021. 

“We thank our many loyal customers and partners over the years,” the company added. 

Newer Blackberry devices running on Android software will continue to work for now. 

Blackberry’s 2021 announcement was an update to an earlier September 9, 2020, statement from Blackberry CEO John Chen, where he announced that the company was transitioning to become a software company, and decommissioning all its legacy services. 

Blackberry launched the last version of its operating system in 2013, and the company started phasing out devices with the Blackberry name between 2016 and 2020, per CNN. According to The New York Times, Blackberry stopped manufacturing its own smartphones in 2016.

The Blackberry was once a favorite of top execs and former President Barack Obama, who famously fought to hold on to a stripped-down version of his Blackberry after getting elected in 2008.

According to The Guardian, Blackberry at its peak in 2009 owned 20% of the global smartphone market, but was soon overtaken in the early 2010s by touchscreen devices like the iPhone. 

Now, Blackberry has pivoted to become a cybersecurity firm, netting around a billion dollars in revenue in 2020.

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