RIP Blackberry – end of an era for the classic cellphone

blackberry

Tuesday marked the end of an era for Blackberry users.

Blackberry, the company behind the iconic QWERTY keypad phones, officially decommissioned the use of its software. This means that classic Blackberry devices using the company’s operating system will not be of any use any longer.

Boasting the BBM instant messaging feature and a physical keyboard, BlackBerry was once the only power player in the cell phone world. The devices were used with pride by white-collar professionals in the first decade of the 2000s. The then-President Barack Obama also used the device.

“We thank our customers and loyal partners over the years,” the company said as it announced its wrap from the cellphone world.

BlackBerry launched several poorly received devices as the iPhone and Android phones became viable alternatives. Post the release of Apple’s iPhone 4, BlackBerry’s sales were crossed by Apple and Androids for good.

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When BlackBerry’s technology began catching up, it was entirely out of fashion. Once BlackBerry’s core customer base, the working professionals began to make the switch to Androids and iPhones.

Today, BlackBerry calls itself primarily “an enterprise cybersecurity and software company” developing software solutions for various corporations. The company still has thousands of workers and pulled about a billion dollars in revenue in 2020.

In September 2012, Yahoo’s CEO snubbed Blackberry’s old-school technology by asking employees to transition from Blackberries to smartphones.

However, now, Blackberry devices running on either Wi-Fi or carrier connections will no longer function, including for phone calls, data, SMS, and 9-1-1 functionality. So for those holding on to their QWERTY keyboards, be warned.

At its peak in 2010, BlackBerry was selling more than 50m smartphones each year – owning nearly 20% of the global market. It has the highest percentage of sales in the US.

It is pertinent to state that newer Blackberry devices running Android software will work for now.

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