BlackBerry stopped shipping phones and tablets with its own software years ago, switching to Android in 2015 before shifting from a hardware company to a software company and outsourcing design of BlackBerry-branded phones to other companies.

But if you’ve been hanging onto an older BlackBerry phone running BlackBerry OS, you’ve been able to continue using it for some basic tasks like web browsing and phone calls. That changes next week, because BlackBerry has announce it’s ending support for legacy services for BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry PlayBook OS.

Among other things, that means that if you have a phone running BlackBerry 10 or BlackBerry 7.1 OS or earlier, then as of January 4, 2022 it will no longer reliably support:

  • Phone calls
  • SMS
  • 9-1-1 emergency calls

BlackBerry says WiFi and mobile data might also become unreliable, and applications including BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Protect, BlackBerry Messenger, and BlackBerry Blend “will also have limited functionality.”

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is also reaching end-of-life status, which means that anyone hanging onto the decade-old tablet will also find it severely limited starting January 4th. But the fact that BlackBerry discontinued the tablet a year after launch suggests that there probably never were all that many PlayBook owners in the first place and that number has surely dwindled over the past decade.

BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

Folks who are still using a device with BlackBerry OS will want to check out the company’s FAQ for tips on migrating their data to other platforms while they still can.

While there have been some attempts to configure older phones like the BlackBerry Bold 9900 to continue functioning even without BlackBerry Services, they generally seem to be a mixed bag. Up until now, users have been able to connect to the internet over WiFi and mobile data, but many apps won’t work properly, many websites will reject connections from a device without support for the latest security protocols, and you’ll need an older device running BlackBerry OS 7.1 because BlackBerry 10 devices are basically doorstops without access to BlackBerry services.

It’s also worth noting that it’s unclear whether those steps will continue working after BlackBerry shuts down its internet service entirely on January 4.

Update: January 4th has arrived and BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed that “as of today, BlackBerry has decommissioned the infrastructure and services used by our legacy software and phone operating systems. But many users have noticed that they are still able to place calls, send text messages, and connect to the internet.

It seems likely that the death of BlackBerry phones will happen over time rather than all at once, as various wireless carriers around the globe pull the plug on the software and services they had implemented to support devices running BlackBerry OS.

via Hacker News

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  1. I missed to set my Classic & Passport back and erease all my personal data. Now without the possibility to change my BB ID or remove it, I can’t sell my device. S**t. For the enthusiast still there: you can use the open source app store for a lot of good apps on the Blackberry phones: https://f-droid.org . And you can find a lot of old and good apps at apkpure. So all the good to you all…. P.S. if you really want a privacy focused phone without backdoors to the secret services of the world, go use the Librem5 https://puri.sm/products/librem-5/.

  2. just brought blackberry play off ebay entered language and region, but does not hold info so will not let me read and agree terms,any advice would be grateful

  3. i will miss my BB10 Passport as it was such an easy to use platform and a really have no desire to have a F’n Android phone, But looks like we are being force fed this garbage?

    1. i still have my BB10 Passport. When Amazon + Google was fighting; I get my android apps from Amazon app store [ without going through Google Play]. It was beautiful!! When Blackberry drop the support for its appstore. the site version was still up [so i download as much apk as possible + keep them safe on in zip in Drive storage.
      I got an 2020 Motorola + 2 year old Iphone = 2 years ago. Because I knew this day will come. never the less. MY BB10 passport is still my main phone.
      The main apps are useful, straight to the point, “productive” heavy apps with the attitude of BBHMM :o). Blackberry in hand =means you are getting paid somewhere. The best part of my phone is that children(of all ages) hated it. 90% almost thief proof :o). “here is your phone back, i dont know how to use it” face.

  4. I have been looking for au automated method to transfer my contacts from Blackberry OS10 device or to an Android. But I could not find any. If Blackberry would only offer a tool to transfer contacts. That’s all I am asking.

    1. Blackberry is design to move data.
      Contacts: Chances are if you have a gmail account in your hub & you did not exclusive waived the rights to collect the info. They are in your [Contact] area in your Google account.

      Click on Contact app.
      a.click on the menu located at the bottom Left screen + above the “q”.
      b. it will expand.
      i. All | Favorites | Local Contacts | Group | BBM | BBM Video |SIM
      there are so many ways to get each off your phone.
      + Google account + android are ment to work together = you cant get it automatically downloaded.
      + Moving the contact to your sim card
      + BB Desktop software allows you to transfer any data to your computer
      + NFC transfer ?
      **i know its possible because I have the opposite issue. whenever i add google product to my apple or android = it loads a decade full of old BB contacts to my new phone.

      Professional TIP:…………..Then there is Youtube. There are videos that will show you to do anything on anything. I am positive there is a video about this.
      happy new year

  5. I’d love to know how phone calls and SMS will stop functioning. They are irrelevant to the support of the OS. They will only cease to work when 4G is no longer supported by the MOBILE OPERATORS.

    1. I don’t think they will.

      I’d asterisk your comment about “4G,” which is 3G in the rest of the world. Apparently, BB10 devices are incapable of modern VoLTE (real 4G). They use 3G for voice and SMS.

  6. I never was a Blackberry fan, but we still have a few die hard Blackberry users at work. The problem is Blackberry OS is written for older 32 bit processors. Just about every device produced in the last decade has a 64 bit processor, making Blackberry OS obsolete. I’m surprised it took this long for Blackberry OS to finally kick the bucket. RIP!

    1. It is unlikely to ever kick the bucket entirely as QNX is a microkernel OS. Known to be far more secure then macrokernel OSes. It’s the reason that they have a cult following among security conscious people. You will see a lot of lawyers, politicians and high ranked Government “administrators” still using them (although they are supported by 3rd party companies that focus on security). Go on places like ebay and you will see that these “well out of date” phones command much higher prices than they should.

  7. Not well research a lot of playbook were so”d and are still functioning unlike the super hyped up I crap pad that won’t even turn on

    1. I have been crying since I felt I may not be able to use my blackberry passport and my bold 9900 almost a year or two ago. Now it looks like I may have to call a blackberry funeral home near my home to arrange for cremation service on my old passport and bold. So mourn for good I may add my Keyone and get over with.

      1. Amazon app store was your friend. (the 2 giants have made up now ) but you could have gotten all your apps from Amazon open source android.
        There was nothing wrong with your phone. Google just was blocking the competition.
        Im literally using mine now. You have to ask yourself how are people using smart phones that doesnt cost 1000 USD? The simple answer is because its likely android = they are allowed to function.

        Opera is my main browser..I have 3 browsers. that works fine.
        My main apps are the HUB, Passport Keeper (lifesaver!) Blackberry blend | Calculator(lifesaver for tips) Adobe Reader|Maps | Box |paypal

        droid apps: whatsapp | facebook |twitter |LinkedIn |Amazon drive Amazon app |Doc & Go| Adobe Reader Dropbox | Box |FTPcafe |RSA token
        Games: (3) I only play Forever Cooking.. my down time is mostly on social media or rolling my eyes at the TV :o)
        I wont accuse any shows here for generic plots and overacting

        Not recommended as an entertainment phone. that is a RIP

        Keyone ALLOWED some of the popular BB-apps on android.
        I download the BBHUB and Passport Keeper on my motorola.
        the only catch is that many of the basic BB apps are not free.
        On the bright-side you can still download apps you liked on the BB and get the best of both worlds.
        Now, you need 3 steps to get to the point on android but you will get there.