BlackBerry revolutionized the mobile phone industry with its line of phones and their notoriously large keyboards. While many have wondered what happened to the company, it's still up and running, and has found large success in different types of technology.
From cybersecurity to automotive safety, BlackBerry has shifted its operations to other tech sectors. And on Jan. 4, 2022, the company announced that it will end support for devices that use BlackBerry OS. While it may seem like the end of an era, BlackBerry may be on the verge of revolutionizing a different industry.
Details on BlackBerry discontinuing services.
BlackBerry is only ending services that run BlackBerry OS, one of the company’s mobile operating systems for older phone models. Modern BlackBerry models are equipped with Google’s Android operating system, and will still be functionable after Jan. 4.
In a statement, the company expressed the bittersweet ending of its classic phone models and software. The phone provider mentioned that it will focus more on its transition to its other services such as cybersecurity, privacy security, and automotive software.
The first BlackBerry phone came out in 1999, with the last model to use the company’s operating system being the BlackBerry Leap. The Leap was released in 2015 and was one of the company’s first full-touchscreen smartphones.
The Leap and all previous models before it won’t be able to access Wi-Fi or use data, send or receive text messages, or send or receive phone calls, including calls to 911. With the company being less active in mobile phone production, it may soon stop manufacturing future phones completely.
Does BlackBerry still make phones?
The last smartphone that BlackBerry produced was the BlackBerry Key2, which was released in July 2018. The phone featured a large touchscreen on the upper part on the front of the phone, while the bottom part featured a physical keyboard, resembling the classic BlackBerry.
In 2020, the company partnered with OnwardMobility, a mobile tech business that has full control over the release of the next BlackBerry phone. The BlackBerry Key3, the successor to the Key, was expected to release in 2021.
OnwardMobility, which was granted permission to develop, engineer, and market the upcoming phone, heavily advertised that the phone would be available in the first half of last year. However, since the first half of 2021, the company hasn't provided an update of when consumers can expect the phone to come out. That has led to wide speculation that the phone may not even come out, especially with BlackBerry changing its focus from mobile hardware.
BlackBerry isn't shutting down
Whereas many think the company is ceasing operations or has been shut down, it has found success in other tech sectors. In recent years, BlackBerry has focused more on providing cyber security solutions. The company offers BlackBerry QNX, one of the world's top operating systems.
BlackBerry QNX is the market leader in automotive safety-certified embedded software, with over 195 million vehicles using the software. Global car brands such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and BMW use the software in their vehicles.