For legions of executives, journalists, and politicians – even leaders of the free world – they were once indispensable devices for staying connected when ordinary mobile phones were used. insufficient. Anything else is for amateurs.
Devices, with the odd-sounding name BlackBerry and a QWERTY keyboard that forced many to type with their thumbs, were more popular than the iPhone in the late 2000s.
But as of Tuesday, Blackberry models using the company’s operating system will be like Commodore and LaserDisc computers. The same goes for the trademark trackballs and the Tic Tac-sized letter keys.
Be part of a “end of life” shutdown program Originally announced in 2020, BlackBerry said that as of January 4, 2022, it will no longer support these devices as the Canadian company completes its transition from making mobile phones to manufacturing. software-based business model.
For some, this deadline represents a wise conclusion to an era before touchscreens, Apple Pay and TikTok, when BlackBerry dominated offices, airport lounges and the West Wing.
President Barack Obama famously clung to his BlackBerry after taking office, prompting the White House to cancel it for security reasons.
Kevin Michaluk, founder CrackBerry, a website and forum dedicated to once-popular devices, raised nostalgia about the rise and fall of technology on Monday. 2016 BlackBerry abandoned as a phonedevices that the company, formerly known as Research in Motion, has defined.
Mr. Michaluk, who goes by the nickname CrackBerry Kevin, said: “The initial sadness for me has been experienced many times. “Using my real name, people don’t know what the hell I am.”
Michaluk, 41, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, says that BlackBerry devices, with model names like Curve, Bold, Storm and Pearl, enhance productivity without all the distractions that come with iPhones.
“It feels like they’re causing MORE for most of us, than productivity right now,” he said of the iPhone. “We went from an analog phone to a pendulum swinging too far. You can’t really accomplish anything because you’re constantly bombarded with sensory overload. “
In a notice posted on its website on December 22, BlackBerry reminded users that devices running legacy services over cellular or WiFi will not be able to receive or send text messages or data. otherwise, call or contact 911 as well.
The company, which thanked its users for their loyalty over the years, was not immediately available for comment on Monday.
On its website, the company points out that Android-powered phones such as the BlackBerry KEY2, are manufactured by Chinese company TCL in partnership with ends in 2020will not be affected by the change.
That could help Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in “And Just Like That,” the reboot of “Sex and the City,” who using BlackBerry KEY2.
Fewer people are more synonymous with BlackBerry than Mr. Obama, whose dependence – um, addiction to mobile devices posed a conundrum when he was elected president in 2008.
Writing in his 2020 memoir, “A Promised Land,” “My team threw me a bone when it came to freedom: I was able to keep my BlackBerry — or rather, I was given a new, specially modified device,” Mr. , which was approved only after several weeks of negotiations with multiple cybersecurity officers. ”
Mr. Obama said that he can only send or receive email from a list of about 20 contacts that have been checked on his BlackBerry, the BlackBerry has removed the headphone and microphone jacks and does not function as a phone. phone.
“Michelle jokes that my BlackBerry is like one of those play phones you give your toddlers,” he says, “when they press the buttons and it makes a noise and everything lights up but In fact, nothing happened.”
Adam Matlock, 37 years old, moderator TechOdysseyA technology review channel on YouTube, said Monday that he has received numerous messages from BlackBerry users expressing concerns about not being able to use the device anymore.
“They kept it for so long because there was no replacement,” he said. “I’ve always felt like Black, they’re special because they have a keyboard and aren’t trying to be another phone with a touch screen.”
Matlock said that even if BlackBerry doesn’t stop offering its older devices, they’ll be barely able to run once major wireless carriers like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile phase out 3G technology in a few years. next.
“I think it’s unfortunate that they no longer support it,” he said. “I understand the decision because the platform itself is pretty much outdated at this point.”
Matlock, who lives in Houston, keeps some of his vintage devices in the office, he said, such as the BlackBerry 7100g.
“They always felt I was special,” he said.
Michaluk, aka CrackBerry Kevin, says his favorite phone model is the BlackBerry Bold 9000 because it has leather on the back.
“I have a little shelf with a little stand on which it rests,” he says. “Let’s call it an elegant temple.”
One of the first models he owned was the BlackBerry 8700, which had a jog wheel on the side that allowed users to scroll through menus and messages.
“It’s a small tank,” he said. “You can throw that around the room like a baseball, and it’ll keep working.”
Mr. Michaluk now uses an iPhone.
“I’m fine with that now,” he said.
William Lamb contribution report.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/03/technology/personaltech/blackberry-devices-stop-working.html BlackBerry Termination Service; Devices will stop working on January 4th