BlackBerry Ltd is ending the service of its once ubiquitous business smartphones, which were worn by executives, politicians and legions of fans in the early 2000s.
The move marks the end of an era when phones, with a tiny physical QWERTY keyboard, pioneered push email and the BBM instant messaging service.
Former US President Barack Obama, one of its most famous users, made headlines in 2016 when asked to ditch his BlackBerry and replace it with an unnamed smartphone.
Blackberry has fallen out of favor with users with the advent of Apple’s touchscreen iPhones and competing Android devices. In recent years, the company has turned to creating cybersecurity software and on-board operating systems for cars.
Social networks have ignited tributes. One Twitter user recalled that it was a “fabulous machine” and hoped the company’s phones would be resurrected.
In a document published in 2020, the business said it will take steps to decommission existing services for BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS operating systems and that added devices running on them will no longer be supported and may not be able to receive or to send data, make phone calls or send messages reliably.
A U.S. judge on Monday rejected the company’s offer to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it defrauded shareholders by inflating the success and profitability of smartphones using BlackBerry 10 OS, and said the class action could stand trial this autumn. – Reuters