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End of an era: Blackberry shuts down software


Tuesday marked the death of a classic in 2000s technology, as the software keeping Blackberry’s business phone running was officially shut down. According to Blackberry, devices running the “software through either carrier or Wi-Fi connections will no longer reliably function, including for data, phone calls, SMS and 9-1-1 functionality.”

“Today marks the beginning of a new era,” Blackberry CEO John Chen said in a blog post. “The independence, mobility, security, and privacy that so many of us came to associate with those ground-breaking BlackBerry devices remains alive and strong, as does the spirit of invention and innovation that got us here.”

While Blackberry phones still worked up until Tuesday, the company stopped making new phones back in 2016. Chen said Blackberry “had been holding off on decommissioning the BlackBerry service out of loyalty to our customers for a long time.”

“The fierce commitment of our customers to their BlackBerry devices still fills us with pride,” Chen said.

The Blackberry had fallen out of favor in the advent of newer smartphones like the Apple iPhone. On Monday, Apple became the first company to hit the $3 trillion market cap. Blackberry, which now focuses on cybersecurity, is valued at about $5 billion.

Also on Monday, a U.S. district court judge rejected a Blackberry bid to dismiss a long-ranging lawsuit surrounding the company’s phones. The suit claims Blackberry defrauded shareholders by inflating the success and profitability of its BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

While the BlackBerry 10 won positive reviews from critics, the iPhone and Android smartphones were already taking over in popularity. The shareholders claim Blackberry concealed BlackBerry 10’s true sales prospects in public statements during 2013.

In a 24-page decision, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon did strike four alleged BlackBerry misstatements from the case, saying the shareholders waited too long to object to them. She said her best guess is that a trial could begin in September or October 2022.