27 July 2021
Many of the young generation people may find it hard to believe but there was a time when BlackBerry was one of the brands that ruled the mobile market. It was specifically popular among businessmen and professionals but with the rise of Android smartphones and Apple's iPhone, the company started to lose ground. It did start offering Android-powered phones in 2015 but that did not make any significant difference.
Prior to making the Android switch, BlackBerry smartphones used to run their own operating system BlackBerry OS. There are users who are still holding on to those older devices but going forward, they will not be able to use them. BlackBerry has announced that it will end support for BlackBerry OS devices on January 4th, 2022. This will affect devices running BlackBerry OS 7.1 or earlier, BlackBerry 10, and BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 or earlier.
The official announcement says once the aforementioned date arrives, "devices running these legacy services and software through either carrier or Wi-Fi connections will no longer reliably function, including for data, phone calls, SMS and 9-1-1 functionality." This will also affect the functionality of many of the BlackBerry apps like BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Protect, BlackBerry Messenger, and BlackBerry Blend.
If you are wondering what is PlayBook OS, it is a dedicated operating system meant for BlackBerry's tablet called PlayBook. It was launched in 2012 when the tablet market was fairly young but it did not make any splashes. The market response was probably so bad that it was discontinued just one year after the release.