Classic BlackBerry devices running on OS 7.1 or earlier will no longer be supported after Jan. 4, meaning the phones will effectively be rendered useless.
The company reminded customers of the change in a notification on Dec. 22.
“As a reminder, the legacy services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier versions, will no longer be available after January 4, 2022,” the company said. “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.”
The devices will no longer function because they lack the ability to receive over-the-air provisioning updates, Blackberry said.
Applications including BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, and BlackBerry Blend will also have limited functionality.
“We have chosen to extend our service until then [Jan. 4] as an expression of thanks to our loyal partners and customers. We thank our many loyal customers and partners over the years,” the company added.
Ontario-based BlackBerry initially announced the end of an era for its old devices back on Sept. 9, 2020.
In 2017, the company committed to providing at least two more years of life for BlackBerry 10 and at least two years of BlackBerry network access for BBOS devices.
Customers still using the old devices will find that their data will be deleted after Jan. 4.
“BlackBerry retains personal information as long as necessary for the fulfilment of BlackBerry’s identified purposes or as otherwise necessary to comply with applicable laws,” the company said. “When personal information is no longer necessary or relevant, BlackBerry will delete, destroy, erase, or anonymize your data.”
While the BlackBerry handsets proved to be popular in the 90s—thanks in part to its ability to enable users to access the internet and email on the go—over the years the company faced stiff competition from Apple’s iPhone and Android-based devices like those from Samsung.
Ultimately, in 2016, BlackBerry announced it would transition to a software company. In that same year, Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen announced the transition was complete.
“Since then, we’ve made great strides executing on our business strategy and today, we are focused on providing intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world,” the company said in its Dec. 22 notice.
In December, Blackberry beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue, driven in part by strong demand for its cybersecurity services to support remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company reported a net profit of $74 million in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $130 million a year earlier.i
While revenue fell to $184 million for the quarter ended Nov. 30, from $218 million a year earlier, it still beat expectations from analysts of $177.25 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Reuters contributed to this report.