BlackBerry OS Devices to Basically Die on January 4, 2022

All devices running BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry 7.1 OS (and earlier), or BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 (and earlier) will reach end-of-life and stop reliably working on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, as will related BlackBerry apps and services.

“As of this date, 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,” says BlackBerry.

After years of declining sales, BlackBerry fully transitioned from a hardware company to a software company in 2016. The design of BlackBerry-branded devices was outsourced, and any new devices that we do see launched once in a blue moon run on Google’s Android OS.

As such, the company has decided to end support for the legacy Operating Systems and services it no longer ships devices with. Once support is discontinued, these OS versions and services will not receive over-the-air (OTA) updates and devices will not be able to reliably access cellular or Wi-Fi networks, not even for emergency calls.

A number of BlackBerry applications and services, including applications including BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, BlackBerry World, BlackBerry Protect, BlackBerry Messenger, and BlackBerry Blend “will also have limited functionality.”

BlackBerry devices running on Android will not be affected, not unless they have been assigned an Enterprise Sim Based License (ESBL), in which case the user will have to obtain a standard license for their use of BlackBerry Enterprise services on that device.

The once great Canadian tech giant failed to react quickly enough to newer smartphone rivals such as Apple and Google. It’s safe to say the iPhone ate BlackBerry’s lunch, including in Canada.

For more information, check out the BlackBerry FAQ on the subject. If you’re using a legacy BlackBerry device with a cellular connection, your carrier should also have some support documentation on the topic — like Rogers does, for example.