back to article BlackBerry won't kill BB10 until 2020, pulls regular Priv updates

BlackBerry has announced "continuing support" for the legacy BB10 OS phones it once made – but won't be updating its first Android phone, the Priv, regularly any more. "Support" means many things, and though owners of phones like the BlackBerry Passport will be relieved that the BB10 app store will continue to remain open for …

  1. Salestard

    Not entirely correct

    "BlackBerry once dominated the enterprise, but the unbundling of messaging and data from the hardware, and stiff competition from handset manufacturers and Microsoft meant it was no longer had a compelling proposition."

    Was in the enterprise mobe sales world for a carrier when they turned turtle, and this statement kinda glosses over the real issues they had.

    True, the quality and desirability of the range had dropped off a cliff in the latter years. No matter how good the Bold 9900 was (and it wasn't, really) - it just felt nasty compared with the stuff Nokia, Apple, and Samsung were churning out by then.

    Also true that the whole BB premise of compacting messaging to keep data usage down had become irrelevant as 3G and then 4G became ubiquitous.

    Mostly though, it was their supreme arrogance which did them for - I found the collective experience to be hugely dismissive of customers, a certainty that their way of doing things would never be surpassed, and that BES would never have any serious contenders.

    Net result; they went stale, just as the likes of Good, MobileIron, BYOD, WP7.5/8, Apple deciding it would (kinda) play in the business space, and the end of subsidised handsets, brought about dramatic change in the market.

    The collapse of BB actually had two casualties - Microsoft completely failed with the open goal suddenly presented to them to replace BB as the de facto business phone... eventually killing WP too.

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Not entirely correct

      Handset quality finally ended our use of them. The last few dead 9xxx's I didn't even bother returning for warranty replacement. With a lot of travelling users the compressed data was still of some benefit but not sufficient to make running the server worthwhile.

    2. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge


      Yes, supreme arrogance. That was definitely BlackBerry's downfall. They thought they knew everything and avoiding bending to what the customer wanted for far too long, essentially letting the entire world pass them by. Apple currently runs the risk of doing something similar. They're not there yet, but I could see it happening.

  2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    "BB10 app store will continue to remain open for another two years"

    I'm surprised any BB10 users would use it considering there was literally nothing on there (2 years ago before I jumped ship).

    1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      Re: "BB10 app store will continue to remain open for another two years"

      You're not kidding, it's a ghost town.

    2. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: "BB10 app store will continue to remain open for another two years"

      "I'm surprised any BB10 users would use it considering there was literally nothing on there"

      At least it won't cost them much to keep it open then.

  3. TonyJ Silver badge

    Not to mention that once Apple started down the line of supporting Activesync natively in iOS, it became trivial to connect a phone to a corporate email system.

    No more BES needed and no more BES-enabled mobile contracts.

    Of course, I am saying nothing of the management nightmare it brought for a time but it did make like easier for users.

    I'm sure we all have memories of various director-level staff strolling up to their internal support guys and gals demanding their iDevice be connected to allow email.

  4. J J Carter Silver badge

    Support? Yeah, we've heard of it!

    More Android mobes to landfill!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Support? Yeah, we've heard of it!

      Don't you have anything interesting to say? Or just quotes from the Microsoft propaganda FUD book?

  5. Cartimand

    Disappointing news. The BB Priv has to be the best Smart Phone I've ever owned - much prefer it to my previous Sony Xperia, and was hoping to get a few more years of properly supported service from it.

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      I think the problem with the priv is the chipset manufactures aren't supporting the chipset anymore so there isn't much they can do. As long as I can keep getting new batteries my Q10 will serve a my podcast listener and email/web browser of choice. Just a pity I can't get the microphone relibly repaired at a resonable price or it would still be my main phone.

    2. RAMChYLD

      Same here. Really saddened to hear this, I've been using a Priv for a little over a year. Good phone, you don't find phones with a world 4G radio and a built-in hardware keyboard on the same package really often.

      Hopefully Blackberry would start offering a way to unlock the phone? Better to drop LegacyOS onto it or try to slip Oreo Go Edition onto it than destine it for the landfill given how much I paid for it.

  6. Wensleydale Cheese

    I just got an update to my BB Passport today

    It's now on 10.3.3

    The odd thing is that for the last 24 hours or so it was running warm, and the last charge didn't last the normal 3 days. I wonder if it was frantically trying to get the update over Wifi but failing because I'd switched that off.

    Wifi on, power cable attached, and it downloaded 1.5GB (!) and updated pretty swiftly.

    1. Dinsdale247

      Re: I just got an update to my BB Passport today

      Ha ha.

      If it's a regular passport, don't let it get too hot in your pocket, the screens come unglued. It happened twice to me before I convinced the BB store partner to let me trade in for a Passport Silver.

  7. IGnatius T Foobar

    old Android OS not as big a deal anymore

    Having an older version of the Android OS is not as big a deal as it used to be. Now that the Chocolate Factory has moved a lot more of its value chain out of Android proper and up into Google Play Services, they can update a lot more of it remotely, even on devices that have been abandoned by their manufacturers.

    iFanbois like to talk about Android "fragmentation" but I have yet to see something that won't run on my four year old device.

    1. TheRealRoland

      Re: old Android OS not as big a deal anymore

      Uhm, the Android VM on the passport for instance is only 4.3, or perhaps 4.4 - a number of apps are refusing to start or even install because of this older version. so while the phone itself may still be working, i was being painted in a corner on what i could easily use.

      I switched with heavy heart to the KeyOne / Android. At least i still have a keyboard :-(

      But i will miss BB10/BBOS.

      1. Dinsdale247

        Re: old Android OS not as big a deal anymore

        As a BB10 lover, my sincerest condolences...

    2. Dinsdale247

      Re: old Android OS not as big a deal anymore

      "iFanbois like to talk about Android "fragmentation" but I have yet to see something that won't run on my four year old device."

      Google reined in the fragmentation many years ago by forcing handset makers to follow strict UI guidelines if they wanted to use the Android name brand and integrated many of the standard Android services into their proprietary services. Not to mention many of the vendor app stores and applications never provided much income to the handset makers (contrary to what they were told when they signed on to Android).

  8. Dinsdale247

    Refusing to update their own software on their own hardware...

    I wonder why a "software company" wouldn't offer software updates to their hardware after they made a deal with their new best friend TCL to support *their* handsets?

    I'm glad my passport will be supported for a little longer, but I don't do much with BB10 apps. Mostly Android apps from Amazon.

    The decision is rather disappointing given the emphasis BB put on offering updates. Even a paid for option would have been acceptable IMHO.

    We shall see how long they support my mothers DTEK60 (gorgeous phone). Then I shall wipe it and put LineageOS on it...

    My BFF has my OnePlus One with lineage on it. Runs great, always current and has an update engine. AOSP/LineageOS and the other non-Androids are the only solution to corps doing this to us.

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: Refusing to update their own software on their own hardware...

      > We shall see how long they support my mothers DTEK60 (gorgeous phone). Then I shall

      > wipe it and put LineageOS on it...

      If you successfully do that, let us know. Allegedly the bootloader's locked, and BB won't unlock it.

  9. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Blackberry were flaky even in their heyday. Problems abound with things like phones suddenly switching to BES mode, BIS losing settings for an account because it's got to get a new 'service book' sent. These were all blackberry-invented annoyances that were meant to keep a legacy requirement, namely email, running 'reliably'. Small businesses couldn't afford a 'blackberry server' and in any case with email services moving into the cloud, having your own email server seemed a bit of a nonsense.

    Blackberry's issues were that they were trying to solve a problem that didn't need to be solved. And the thing people really wanted, which was access to websites, really didn't work very well at all on blackberries. As for the quality of the apps, they were abysmal. I had never found a blackberry app that actually looked good.

    What's interesting is that the blackberry messenger became so popular. What killed it was that they were so late releasing their BBM client for android and ios. I seem to remember it was announced and then months later, it finally became available. Too late. People had moved on.

    It's ironic that blackberries were aimed at the corporate market and that they became so popular with kids - mainly because of the BBM.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      BBM is better for me than WhatsApp in that it tells you when (by timestamp) your message has been read. I really miss that functionality as it is often very helpful to know when someone actually saw the message not just that they saw it.

      1. Callam McMillan

        WhatsApp can do that. Select the message and click the info button. It'll tell you when the message was delivered and read.

  10. Stjalodbaer

    Blackberry appeared unbearably arrogant. They were punished in the market. But much of their tech and concepts were good. Gaining control of QNX, which makes Android, iOS, etc. look pretty tired amd ancient, and developing BB10 should have led to a revival. The Passport, however flawed its build, is even now a view of the future; its design is a prototype of that combination of phone and tablet that will probably be the single standard device until miniaturized holographic hands free systems arrive.

  11. nobodyanybody
    Thumb Down

    Blackberry Game

    Blackberry and GM have given up on the service for older Blackberry phones using OS 10. sideloading Android apps allowed users to keep services like GM Mylink service. Why ? because Google and Blackberry each have a direction they are moving in. Google to track users for it's ability to send marketing info to phones and sell data to marketing companies. Older Android levels have been blocked by Google. Blackberry? They think they will sell software and keep companies using their services. Sorry , the company I work for has thousands of OS10 blackberry phones and the comment from internal support is they will move to Apple. this will also cause serious consideration before using any blackberry software regardless of the statement by blackberry on how great they are .

    also based on posts from other google users the reason for the Google block is blackberry has really decided to NOT support further up grades to OS 10 Android levels. SO if Blackberry fails to keep pace why would anyone stay if none of the new or current apps will work s is the case with OnStar.

    Wake up blackberry. Just because you state support for older OS 10 until 2020 your not fooling users.

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