For those who need a quick course, there are three types of BlackBerry smartphones in existence today:
- legacy BlackBerry devices: these are older smartphones run the older operating system 7.1 and below.
- BB10 devices: these are newer devices running the new BlackBerry OS10
- Android devices: for now, only the Priv occupies this corner, but more devices are on the way this year
While many BlackBerry users in Nigeria hold on to their legacy devices, because of cheap BIS data plans, what is not immediately clear to them is how much they are running on borrowed time. All around the country, retailers are running out of stock of legacy BlackBerry devices and are no longer pushing them in their stores. From the big names to the small, lesser known stores, legacy BlackBerry smartphones are disappearing off the shelves. On display in their place are the newer devices running OS10 – and recently Android OS.
To be honest, BlackBerry OS 7 smartphones do not exactly belong in 2016. Consider that the most recent of them, the BlackBerry 9720, was released in 2013. Now, others like the 9320, 9790 and 9900 released 2011-2012 are relics. Dinosours that belong in a lost age. Apps for legacy BlackBerry are horribly outdated compared to their counterparts on more modern platforms.
This year, legacy BlackBerry devices will likely disappear completely off retail shelves. There remains a vibrant second-hand market for them, and that will likely keep them around on the streets for a while. But BlackBerry OS7.1 and earlier is by all means on life support. Those BIS data plans too. And if BlackBerry’s new adventure in Android OS improves their hardware sales, then we shall see BB10 smartphones begin to disappear too. It is only a matter of time.