Legendary smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry has officially discontinued support for its devices running on proprietary BlackBerry 7.1 OS, BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1, and their earlier versions. The company announced the news on January 4.
The company said that users of such devices would no longer be able to make calls, send text messages, transmit data, and use emergency functionality, which basically makes such devices unusable.
Branded services like BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Protect, BlackBerry Messenger will also be unavailable. These restrictions do not apply to BlackBerry smartphones running on Android OS.
BlackBerry announced that it would end the support of its operating systems from the beginning of 2022 more than a year ago, announcing a shift in focus to software solutions in the field of corporate security.
In the past, BlackBerry was one of the leaders in the smartphone industry, owning 20% of the global smartphone market at its peak. However, the release of the first iPhone and Android smartphones has gradually reduced the share of BlackBerry to near-zero values. From 2009 to 2016, BlackBerry's share of the global mobile device market declined from 20% to 0.1%.
Therefore, BlackBerry has gradually transformed into a provider of cybersecurity software solutions for enterprise customers.