But the truth is, landfills. They will be full of old BlackBerry devices, or if we’re lucky, they’ll get recycled so some value will be extracted from them.
I’ve been thinking about lifecycles a lately because of the lingering frustrations I have with my current phone, the OnePlus 9 Pro. The problem with the phone is not the hardware, but the software, which can get really laggy over time, and often can be difficult to use. But I’ve had it less than a year, so switching phones will come at a premium if I do choose to do it.
In retrospect, I wish I would have kept my old OnePlus 7 Pro, which was a great phone that, in my eyes, was only missing one feature: Wireless charging. But the problem is, half the experience of the phone is the software. And the software experience can be all too easily lost when a company takes their eye off the ball. (OnePlus is making some decisions behind the scenes
that are degrading that experience.)
BlackBerry is, publicly and emphatically, taking its eye off the ball.
While it’s entirely possible that a bunch of BlackBerry devices will technically work to some degree after today, odds are high that they will not work going forward unless there is some broad community looking to maintain these devices on modern networks.
Now granted, there are things that could likely be done to extend the lives of these phones slightly. For one thing, it could be a great option for BlackBerry-obsessed users to invest in a device or a solution that converts 3G signals to more modern 4G signals, allowing them to take advantage of a standard wireless network. And the strength of the community—a community that famously installed relatively recent versions of Android on the decade-old HP Touchpad
, a device I now use as a clock—may pull off some surprises in keeping the BlackBerry around for just a little longer.
I guess my feeling on all this is to say that the BlackBerry, as a concept, would still have a niche all its own for years after most regular users ditched the basic services. Maybe it still will. But I feel like BlackBerry deciding to ditch this technology that will soon grown obsolete is disappointing, but obvious.
I mean, what else were they going to do, compete in the modern smartphone market?