Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

BlackBerry phones are officially dead

BlackBerry has finally pulled the plug on its classic business-focused phones, making old-school BlackBerry phones effectively unusable.

Towards the end of December, the pioneering smartphone company announced its plans to switch off all of the services supporting its BlackBerry OS devices. Now, on January 4, that day of reckoning has arrived.

From today, anyone using a BlackBerry device running any variant of BlackBerry OS (including the tablet-based BlackBerry PlayBook OS) will be unable to make or receive calls, send texts, use Wi-Fi, or access mobile data. While they haven’t exactly been bricked, they’re now functionally useless.

In a related blog post, BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen announced that “As of today, BlackBerry has decommissioned the infrastructure and services used by our legacy software and phone operating systems which are over 20 years old now”.

It’s been a long, slow death for the initial dominant force in the fledgling smartphone industry. Following years of iPhone and Android-induced decline, and a last-gasp attempt at relevancy with the Android-powered BlackBerry Priv, Chen announced in 2016 that the company had transitioned to being a software security company.

From this point on, the company stopped making BlackBerry devices altogether. It did, however, license the BlackBerry brand out, with the likes of the BlackBerry Key2 (pictured) built by TCL and running on Google’s Android OS – albeit with a healthy smattering of BlackBerry’s famously secure software layered on top.

These late-era Android-powered devices will be unaffected by today’s big switch-off.

It’s not all doom and gloom for die-hard BlackBerry fans, however. Referencing his company’s current prominent position in the “intelligent security” software field, Chen said that the “Chances are, we are more a part of your life today than we ever were as a handset company, though you may not even realize it.”

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words