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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

BlackBerry signals end of an era as it prepares to pull plug on classic phones

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If you owned a cell phone between 2005 and 2010, chances are you’ve ever used (or wanted to) a BlackBerry. In that case, you must have been haggling a lot, but that era has now officially come to an end. BlackBerry stops supporting the classic devices, which means that they are no longer usable.

In particular, the BlackBerry 9700 Bold and BlackBerry Curve 8520 were popular in the 00s. Initially mainly among business people, but later more and more young people started using phones with QWERTY keyboards. At the beginning of 2009, the Canadian manufacturer had a market share of more than 20 per cent: one in five mobile phones was a BlackBerry.

The large keyboard allowed you to type messages much faster than with the ‘old-fashioned’ T9 devices, which was especially useful when pinging. That’s what it was called chatting via BBM, the free chat service from BlackBerry. All it took was exchanging your 8-digit pin(g), something Fouradi wrote a whole song about in 2010.

The success of the BlackBerry devices declined as more and more people went for a smartphone with touchscreen and WhatsApp, such as Apple’s iPhones. BlackBerry also released models with larger screens and touchscreen, but they didn’t become as popular as the good old Bold and Curve. However, the company is still in business and still making phones, but is now focusing more on the business software and cybersecurity market. The new devices that work on Android will of course still function normally.

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