back to article BlackBerry admits: We could do better at patching

BlackBerry has confirmed that its first Android device, the Priv, will be stuck on Google's 2015 operating system forevermore, which Google itself will cease supporting next year. Having been promised "the most secure Android", BlackBerry loyalists have seen the promise of monthly security updates stutter recently, with …

  1. J J Carter Silver badge

    Epic fail

    Straight to landfill, Android stylee!

    1. cmrayer

      Re: Epic fail

      Truly the last straw for BlackBerry users.

      It really is sad how the once great platform and company have destroyed every last bit of good will left.

      Hey ho, it was a good run...

  2. AMBxx Silver badge

    Ah well

    I just bough a Priv for just £250. Disappointed it won't be getting updates, but still a nice phone for the time being - it takes the pile of poo known as Android and makes a reasonable attempt to fix it.

    Perhaps Blackberry should have focussed more on keeping the complexity of patching down rather than complaining about it being difficult?

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: Ah well

      The problem is getting all of the companies that manufacture all of the components to cooperate when they might not sell that component any more and don't want the hassle of support it. That isn't just an issue for BB, it's a problem for everyone trying to support a phone for more than a year or two.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Ah well

        Apple seem to do a remarkably good job at supporting old hardware. MS manage well with PCs (let's not mention their phones).

        What is it with Android that gives them such a short lifespan?

        1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: Ah well

          MS manage well with PCs

          Microsoft, re abandoning Clover Trail CPUs: "If a hardware partner stops supporting a given device or one of its key components and stops providing driver updates, firmware updates, or fixes, it may mean that device will not be able to properly run a future Windows 10 feature update."

          Blackberry: "...trying to get a lot of different partners who are involved (a lot comes down to drivers, screen drivers and radio drivers) ... to agree to transition to N would not be possible..."

          Sounds about the same to me.

          This is our brave new world. If any upstream manufacturer of any component in your PC or Android stops supporting that component, then your device is e-waste.

          Oh, but it's for your benefit, y'see. Best user experience and all that. It's certainly not because they will make money forcing you to replace a working device. How dare you suggest such a thing?

          1. zebthecat

            Ah bollocks is more like it

            I really like my Priv and am pretty hacked off about this news. The overheating thing was sorted out a while ago and I love the combination large screen and keyboard.

            Plan to carry on using it until it finally dies but won't be purchasing another BB after this. If you can't be arsed to carry on supporting your products then don't expect anyone to buy them.

        2. RareToy

          Re: Ah well

          > What is it with Android that gives them such a short lifespan?

          It's the incept date that was chosen. 4 year life span.

        3. Citizen99

          Re: Ah well

          "Apple seem to do a remarkably good job at supporting old hardware. ..."

          My Brother-in-law recently passed on an iOS6 phone to the Wife. The first thing I tried to put on it for her was Facebook (we communicate with Far-Flung-Family).

          The current Facebook refused to install on anything older than iOS8.

          Can the handset install iOS8 ? Nah, unless anybody can advise me of a work-around.

  3. SteveK

    I have a DTEK60

    It's a good phone on the whole, but the support has been pretty patchy. As it's essentially the same spec as the Pixel XL, I had assumed it would at least get Nougat - the hardware is more than capable. The lack of updated OS I could excuse though, if it wasn't for their marketing departments promising that they provide the fastest rollout of updates, criticising other manufacturers for taking weeks or months to deliver security updates (

    Yet after only 6 months, the DTEK60 has started missing the monthly security update releases (twice now, and the August update only lurched into view last week at the start of September), and the general response seems to be that they're only concentrating on the KeyOne now.

    The promise of security and a rapid delivery of updates, coupled with lack of bundled bloatware and carrier addons was a key factor for me in buying the phone.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: I have a DTEK60

      I tried a DTEK60 before buying a Priv. I think I had a duff DTEK as the call quality was just awful. With the news that neither is getting future updates, I'm just glad I saved the money.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When my last place was looking to replace their phones security and updates were one of the criteria, unfortunately budget was as well which ruled out iPhone which I hate to admit seem to be about the best at keeping their phones patched. We decided to go with budget devices though as weirdly you can just replace them multiple times over the coming years and still spend less than buying an iPhone :/

    We'd have happily gone for the blackberry if they'd actually made an attempt to backup their 'secure' marketing with some update guarantees.

  5. EveryTime Silver badge

    When they introduced the device: "We built this phone, and it will The Most Secure Ever"

    When it's time to support it: "We have no influence on the component suppliers and we disclaim any responsibility." "No, of course we won't release the source code and build system"

  6. DougS Silver badge

    No excuse

    They sold it with the promise of updates, the hardware hasn't changed since people bought it, so what could possibly be the reason? Oh yeah, Blackberry already has your money!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    well then, let's see if we can find a company that will support the hardware during the expected lifespan. thoroughly miffed this time...

  8. fuzzie

    SoC vendor blobs

    This is a general Android HAL issue though. Many other projects piggyback on Android's efforts to enlist board support packages for hardware. Unfortunately, Qualcomm, and others, end-of-life their board support packages after barely more than a year. Consequently, even if the OEM want to do a major release upgrade they're stuffed. Combine that with Google upping hardware requirements for Android certification, e.g. OpenGL ES 4.4 for Nougat, 4.3 for Marshmallow (a pure software update), and OEMs are stuck.

    The industry, or more likely consumer watchdog organizations, should mandate longer hardware support windows or even require board support blobs to revert to the public domain if no longer supported.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019