BlackBerry OS Devices Are About To Be Bricked, What You Need To Know

BlackBerry OS
Remember when BlackBerry was THE smartphone brand, back before the rise of Apple and Samsung as the dominant players (and now others)? It was a good, long run. Some of you may still own and use legacy BlackBerry devices, and if you do, be advised that support is coming to an end next week. When that happens, you may not even be able to make an emergency 9-1-1 call on your phone.

BlackBerry will finally begin to sunset its legacy devices that run BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, and BlackBerry PlayBook 2.1 and earlier on January 4, 2022.

"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. We have chosen to extend our service until then as an expression of thanks to our loyal partners and customers," BlackBerry states on an FAQ page.

BlackBerry devices running Android will not be affected, save for those those receiving redirected email sent to a BlackBerry hosted email address, or ones assigned an Enhanced Sim Based License (ESBL or Identity Based License (IBL). Users of a BlackBerry hosted email address will want to make sure to move to a new one before January 4.

"If any iOS or Android device, including BlackBerry Android devices, have an ESBL or IBL license assigned, the customer will need to obtain a standard license to cover their use of BlackBerry Enterprise services with that device," BlackBerry says.

BlackBerry Z10
There are dozens of BlackBerry models that are about to be decommissioned, including the BlackBerry Classic, BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Z10/Z30/Z3, BlackBerry Bold 9000 series, BlackBerry Torch (the company's first touchscreen handset), and many more. If in doubt, you can see the full list on BlackBerry's FAQ page.

BlackBerry says it will continue to retain personal information "as long as necessary for the fulfillment of BlackBerry's identified purposes" or to comply with applicable laws. Whenever the company deems it to no longer be necessary, it will "delete, destroy, erase, or anonymize your data." If you're not comfortable with that, you can send a request to privacyoffice at blackberry dot com to immediate remove your data, the company says.

So anyway, when you pop the champagne to celebrate a new year, pour one out for legacy BlackBerry devices.