BB12: A glowing tribute, as legacy services for classic BlackBerry devices come to an end

If you still own and use a BlackBerry OS or BlackBerry 10 smartphone, come January 4, 2022, it is likely to stop functioning for calls, SMS, and more.

BlackBerry announced that will end support for classic BlackBerry smartphones; these are BlackBerry phones that run BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10. If you own an BlackBerry Android phone, you have nothing to worry about, as those retain their full functionality.

Here is the official statement on the end of support for classic Blackberry phones from Blackberry Limited:

As a reminder, the legacy services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier versions, will no longer be available after January 4, 2022.  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.   

BlackBerry browser on Passport, a classic BlackBerry device.
BlackBerry Passport

Before now, BlackBerry Limited had shut down the BlackBerry Services and App Store (was called BlackBerry World), though their devices continued to function for calls, SMS, mobile data, Wi-Fi, etc. This announcement changes that situation, and users of any classic BlackBerry phones might find themselves stranded after the specified date.

For example, if you depend on BlackBerry applications and services such as BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, and BlackBerry Blend, expect to hit a wall from January 4.

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My Tribute to classic BlackBerry

Virtually everyone else is talking about the downfall of BlackBerry – what the brand did wrong. All of that is after the fact. Hindsight is 20:20. I choose to celebrate this legendary brand that had the world eating from its palms for a bright and exciting period.

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I had my first BlackBerry in 2011. That was the BlackBerry 9800 Torch. Released in 2010, I was a little late to the party. Actually, I was quite late to the BlackBerry party as a whole. But better late than never. Once I got in, though, I became a fan. From then, I went through 12 different devices, till BlackBerry OS and BB10 were retired by the Canadian company.

When the company dabbled into tablet territory, I got a PlayBook too. PlayBook was what BlackBerry called its tablet. You might be interested in my BlackBerry Playbook first impressions. It turned out that it had the best Web browser during its time. As a Web guy, I was hooked.

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BlackBerry PlayBook
My BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

The most powerful classic BlackBerry smartphone ever was the Passport, and I got my unit as a gift from BlackBerry’s agency on its release in 2014. I still own a Blackberry Passport till date, though I don’t put it to use any more. I even published a long-term BlackBerry Passport review in 2019. The Passport is the best BlackBerry device that I owned, and I daresay the best classic BlackBerry device ever.

The last BlackBerry device that I purchased was the Classic. It was such a stately built, compact premium device with hardware keys that were a delight to type on. You can enjoy a throwback to my BlackBerry Classic review. In all, I owned 12 classic BlackBerry devices.

The complete list of all the classic BlackBerry devices that I owned, and the dates I got them:

  1. Blackberry 9800 Torch (January 2011)
  2. Blackberry 9300 Curve 3G (July 2011)
  3. BlackBerry Curve 9360 (December 2011).
  4. BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 (March 2012)
  5. BlackBerry Torch 9810 (April 2012)
  6. BlackBerry PlayBook tablet (April 2012)
  7. BlackBerry Curve 9320 (July 2012)
  8. BlackBerry Bold 9650 (February 2012)
  9. BlackBerry Z30 (September 2013)
  10. BlackBerry Z10 (September 2014)
  11. BlackBerry Passport (October 2014)
  12. BlackBerry Classic (May 2015)
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As already highlighted, I owned a handful of classic BlackBerry devices back in the day and still own a BlackBerry Passport, which is a BB10 device. This means the end of the road for it for key functions. The thing is, it is sitting in a drawer anyway and isn’t used for anything on a day-to-day basis.

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If you still use your BlackBerry smartphone on a daily basis (and that will be almost shocking), this is the time to start looking for a replacement. Get an Android phone from one of the numerous brands or an iPhone from Apple.

There have been rumours of a 5G BlackBerry phone for a while. Unfortunately, that device isn’t reality yet. But if you are loyal to the brand, there are BlackBerry-branded Android phones for you to select from now. BlackBerry Android phones aren’t anything like classic BlackBerry phones, though.

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