The end of BlackBerry phones is finally here, literally here
BlackBerry, the company which was once dominated by smart mobile devices, it was recently announced that they are finally shutting down major services that support its phones. As of today, the phones are not provided with provisioning services, meaning they lose the ability to access networks, including the cellular network.
It may be hard to imagine if you were not using cell phones at the time, but BlackBerry once dominated the smartphone market. Its keyboard-based hardware was widely accepted in physical settings, partly because the services it provided typically ran through BlackBerry servers, allowing high levels of security and control. An indication of how important it is that early builds within Android looked like a cheap BlackBerry knuckle, rather than the last iPhone free knuckle released.
Unlike the Android developers, BlackBerry dominance was blind to the popularity of the iPhone. BlackBerry removed on-screen keyboards and counted its passion on corporate services for market share. The company took more than a year after the release of the iPhone to come out with their own touchscreen phone, and its software remained a strange mix of old and new for a while after that. Meanwhile, corporate users fell in love with their Apple and Android phones and forced IT departments to support them.
BlackBerry finally abandoned its own phones and started releasing Android versions before completely eliminating the hardware industry (it now exclusively provides services physical security). The last version of the BlackBerry OS that he released dates back to 2013, so the devices affected here are now very old. The promised period of support ended more than a year ago, which means the company has already delivered on its promises.
The end effect of support is explained on the FAQ page hosted by the device manufacturer. The main change is that BlackBerry will no longer issue supply updates for these devices. The provision of information provides details on how the devices should establish connections with different types of network equipment, including cellular and Wi-Fi networks. At some uncertain time in the future, network updates made by service providers will mean that BlackBerry devices can no longer connect. As a result, BlackBerry says its devices are no longer expected to "work reliably, including data, phone calls, SMS, and 9-1-1 capability."
There are a handful of software services that rely on connections to BlackBerry servers to function. So if you relied on something like BlackBerry World or BlackBerry Link, those will stop today.
Not many people are affected by this. However, it is a clear signal of the end of technology that was once very important.
This story first appeared Ars Technica.
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