If you enjoyed mobile tech in the late 1990s or early 2000s, there’s a good chance that you owned a BlackBerry. Amongst the earliest and most popular mobile devices ever launched, BlackBerry devices took on many different iterations throughout the years. From two-way pagers to the earliest smartphones, BlackBerry devices made their way into the hands of many consumers around the globe.
An Iconic Device Comes to an End
However, it seems that the BlackBerry brand is officially coming to an end in 2022. Support was ended for all devices running BlackBerry 10, Blackberry 7.1, and earlier operating systems on January 4, 2022. These devices are essentially moot from that point forward – and they aren’t even capable of dialing out to 911.
The news shouldn’t be too surprising to consumers. After all, the company has remained absent from the smartphone business since 2016. Moreover, an announcement made in September 2021 gave current users plenty of warning regarding the January 2022 date. It’s safe to say that there were very few remaining customers – if any at all – left after the turn of the New Year.
It’s Even Worse Than We Thought
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the bad news for BlackBerry. After officially ending support in early January, a late-January announcement revealed that the company was selling its remaining patents to a brand known as Catapult IP Innovations, Inc. According to BlackBerry, the company was specifically created to acquire these assets.
It’s safe to say that the team with Catapult has some kind of plans for these patents. After all, the purchase price – set at a whopping $600 million – isn’t exactly pocket change. With $450 million due immediately, and the remaining $150 million split into payments that begin in three years, Catapult can’t really afford to sit on these patents for long.
However, it’s unclear what these plans might be. Given the fact that BlackBerry doesn’t really have a presence amongst the major smartphone providers in 2022, it would be tough for them to achieve any notable amount of market penetration at this point.
In fact, most of BlackBerry’s recent business focused around vehicle infotainment. This includes their QNX operating system, which is still used in many smart vehicles today. It’s also used in enterprise-level security.
Whether or not Catapult will continue on this path remains to be seen. In theory, they could try to revitalize the now-archaic BlackBerry smartphone – although it’s tough to say how successful such an endeavor would be.
There’s also the question of the upcoming BlackBerry 5G device, offered by OnwardMobility. While it was originally slated for a 2021 release, the device has yet to hit consumers’ hands following the turn of the New Year. Unfortunately, it seems that news has completely dried up concerning the new device, which has some speculating that it might not be released at all.
As you can see, the future of BlackBerry is anything but certain. It will be interesting to see what Catapult does with their newly acquired patents, but all we can do is guess until that time comes.
BlackBerry 10 Support Officially Ends
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