There’s good news out there for anyone clinging to their BlackBerry Classic like a silicon security blanket: BlackBerry has announced that it will be supporting its BB10 operating system for at least another two years, giving yet another stay of execution to the long-defunct OS.
Released way back in 2012, the BlackBerry 10 operating system was BlackBerry’s last great hope for creating a modern smartphone platform. The goal was to offer all the major apps like Android and iOS and serve as a viable competitor to Apple and Google’s smartphone ecosystems. BlackBerry really did try to get BB10 to work, but even with support for Android apps, it ultimately gave up in 2015 with the release of the BlackBerry Leap, the last shipping device to run the OS before the company switched over to Android.
Unless your employer mandates it, I’m deeply puzzled about who still uses a BB10 phone at this point. Even die-hard BlackBerry fans who want the company’s iconic hardware keyboard have a more modern option in the form of the KeyOne, which runs Android and was released this year. BlackBerry also isn’t sure why you’re still using it; the company announced plans for a new “trade up” program to try and incentivize customers on older BlackBerry devices to upgrade to a KeyOne or Motion instead. (The company’s first Android device, the BlackBerry Priv, is no longer receiving security updates.)
Also, while the operating system will receive support through the rest of the decade, BlackBerry is planning to shut down parts of it a bit earlier. Specifically, the BlackBerry World app store is set to close on December 31st, 2019, the BlackBerry Travel site will shutter in February 2018, and the Playbook video calling service will shut down in March 2018.