End of an era for BlackBerry as company pulls plug on support for its classic smartphones — 22 years after the device first hit the market

  • The move today will impact those devices still running BlackBerry 7.1 and earlier
  • BlackBerry PlayBookOS 2.1 and BlackBerry 10 software are also affected
  • These systems will stop receiving updates and ‘no longer reliably function’
  • This could affect key functions like texting, making and receiving calls, and data use 
  • BlackBerry applications like Messenger and Blend will have limited functionality
  • Android-powered BlackBerry phones, however, will work just like normal

BlackBerry today marks the end of an era, as it has stopped supporting its iconic smartphones over 22 years. 

The move will impact devices running BlackBerry 7.1 and earlier, BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 — although Android-powered models will be unaffected.

In a September statement, the company warned that unsupported systems would stop receiving updates for software and will therefore no longer function reliably. 

The Canadian company stated that this could have a negative impact on core operations such as the ability to receive and send calls, including to emergency services, and text messages.

The impact on data usage could also affect applications such as BlackBerry Link, Desktop manager, World Messenger, Blend, and Blend. However, these apps will still be able to perform their functions.

BlackBerry reached the end of an era today, having pulled the plug on support for its classic smartphones (like that pictured) some 22 years after their devices first hit the market

Today marks the end for an era in BlackBerry’s history. The company has ended support of its iconic smartphones, like the one pictured here, 22 years since their first appearance on the market. 

BlackBerry launched on the market for the first time in 2000. The smartphone was a necessity for professionals as it enabled users to quickly write and receive emails.

Smartphones saw an explosion in popularity between 2001 and 2007, when they were introduced to new markets around the world.

But, in 2016 BlackBerry was overtaken by Apple and lost its title as the number one device.

And in the end, it was arguably BlackBerry’s failure to adapt, lack of consumer insight and poor design that led to its demise in 2018 — when the company announced that it would no longer be producing the smartphone.

The last version of the BlackBerry OS the firm released dated back to 2013, so the devices set to lose support are very old, Ars Technica have reported.

BlackBerry released a statement saying that “termination of these services offerings and infrastructure will also affect functionality for applications.”

These, they added, will include Enhanced Sim Based Licensing, Identity Based Licensing, BlackBerry-hosted email addresses and the original BlackBerry Protect, which let users locate, lock and wipe BBOS and BlackBerry 10 devices remotely.

According to the company, there is no effect on the BlackBerry Protect (an AI-based endpoint protection solution),

Android-powered BlackBerry devices — like the Key2, pictured — will operate just as normal

 Android-powered BlackBerry devices — like the Key2, pictured — will operate just as normal

In 2020, a Texas firm named OnwardMobility announced that it would be making a 5G Android-powered BlackBerry device with a full QWERTY keyboard to release in 2021 — however, the promised smartphone has yet to actually materialise.

‘Enterprise professionals are eager for secure 5G devices that enable productivity, without sacrificing the user experience,’ OnwardMobility CEO Peter Franklin said.

BlackBerry smartphones have a reputation for protecting data, privacy and communications. OnwardMobility now has the opportunity to offer next-generation 5G phones to customers with the support of BlackBerry and FIH Mobile.

OnwardMobility’s website mentions the Android powered Blackberry but only states that it is in the pre-order stage. There are no indications as to when the actual release will occur.


BlackBerry OS 7.1 and older software and BlackBerry 10 software will not work reliably on devices that are running BlackBerry OS 2.1 or earlier through Wi-Fi connection. 

These devices will lack the ability to receive over the air provisioning updates and as such, this functionality will no longer be expected to reliably function, including for data, phone calls, SMS and 9-1-1 functionality.​​​​ 

BlackBerry Link and BlackBerry Desktop Manager will have limited functionality for certain applications.

However, Android-powered BlackBerry phones will work just like normal. 

Here is a complete list of affected devices, softwares, apps, and services:


BlackBerry 10:

  • BlackBerry Classic
  • BlackBerry Passport
  • BlackBerry Leap
  • BlackBerry Z10 and Z30
  • BlackBerry Q10 and Q5
  • Porsche Design P’9982 from BlackBerry
  • Porsche Design P’9983 from BlackBerry

BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier – including but not limited to:

  • BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 9790 9650 9650 9700 9700 9000
  • BlackBerry Curve: 9380, 9370/9360/9350, 9330/9300, 9320/9315/9310/9220, 8530/8520, 9380, 8900/8980, 8300/8310/8320/8330/8350i
  • BlackBerry Torch: (9860/9850), 9810/9800
  • BlackBerry Storm: 9500/9530 & 9520 /9550
  • BlackBerry Pearl 9100, 8110/8120/8130/8130, 8220/8230
  • BlackBerry 9720
  • BlackBerry 9620
  • Porsche Design P’9981 from BlackBerry
  • BlackBerry Tour 9630
  • BlackBerry Style 9670
  • BlackBerry 8800/8820/8830
  • BlackBerry 7130
  • BlackBerry 8700/8707
  • BlackBerry 7100
  • BlackBerry 7290
  • BlackBerry 7730
  • BlackBerry 7230
  • BlackBerry 6720
  • BlackBerry 6230
  • Devices based on C++ Platform: 850-857, 900. 950. 957

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 and older:

  • BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE/3G+
  • BlackBerry PlayBook


  • BlackBerry 7.1 OS or earlier
  • BlackBerry 10 Software
  • BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 and older software
  • BlackBerry Desktop Software
  • BlackBerry Link
  • BlackBerry Blend
  • BlackBerry World
  • BlackBerry Protect allows consumers to remotely lock, find, or wipe BBOS and BlackBerry 10 devices. The new BlackBerry Protect, an AI-based security system for endpoints, has no effect.
  • BlackBerry Password Manager for BlackBerry 10 OS, BlackBerry 7.1 OS, and older. BlackBerry Password Keeper will remain intact for BlackBerry Android phones.
  • BlackBerry ID* for BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, and BlackBerry PlayBook 2.1 OS and earlier
  • BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) – Consumer*
  • Messaging between PIN and PIN devices
  • BlackBerry hosted email addresses – This includes the redirection of email sent to BlackBerry hosted email addresses to other email addresses used on other platforms, including Android and iOS. This includes @myblackberry.com or @service_provider_name.blackberry.com email addresses.
  • Enhanced Sim Based Licensing – (ESBL), Identity Based Licensing – (IBL).
  • BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 – this product has already reached End of Support, and the software may no longer reliably function after the termination of services.

*Note: no impact to BBM for Enterprise and BBM Enterprise for Individual Use (BBMe), which will continue to be available and will leverage BlackBerry ID on other platforms.

SOURCE: BlackBerry.com