The company has announced that all of its devices that use its operating system, last updated in 2013, will be decommissioned on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. This break in service only affects phones that use the technology BlackBerry specialist and not newer ones that have an Android operating system.
After this date, users will no longer be able to make calls, receive messages, browse the web, or even call 911.
There was a time when BlackBerry phones were ubiquitous, especially in business. These devices equipped with a real miniature keyboard, Internet access and, above all, an e-mail box were a revolution in the working world at the time.
The fall of a giant
Work from anywhere, anytime directly on your phone: What seems obvious today was far from obvious in 1999, when the Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) launched the first BlackBerry phone on the market.
To be at the forefront of mobility, many businesses, banks and governments around the world have quickly adopted this technology. Even the President of the United States Barack Obama received his calls and sent his emails using a BlackBerry.
Other companies quickly saw the potential of the burgeoning smartphone market. In 2007, with the release of the first iPhone, Apple became a key player in this market with a colorful design and a fully touch screen that appealed to the youngest.
However, BlackBerry was still one step ahead of Apple at the time. Indeed, the operating system designed by RIM was considered to be one of the most secure in the world at the time.
The emails sent and received on these devices did not pass through the usual channels of the web: they were rather stored in dedicated servers, spread around the world. All communications were thus encrypted, which made the possibility of a leak or hacking almost zero.
However, this centralization of data, initially seen as an asset, is also what caused the loss of the communications giant.
In 2011, a major outage affected RIM servers around the world. The result: Millions of BlackBerry users lost access to their data and emails for days.
Occurring at a time when the company RIM was grappling with fierce competition from all sides, this failure has, according to many, signed the death warrant of BlackBerry as the superpower of mobile telephony. It didn’t take much for the company’s stock price to collapse, a fall from which it never really recovered.
The company, known today as BlackBerry Ltd, now specializes in security systems for businesses and governments.
Promised for the year 2021, a new smartphone that uses 5G technology is still pending. The company did not indicate the reasons for the delay, nor whether it still intended to make its return to the world of telecommunications.