As Chinese smartphone manufacturer TCL continues to keep the legendary BlackBerry name in the consumer hardware limelight, the enterprise software-focused Canadian company that licensed the brand last year is busy doing some early spring-cleaning.
After confirming the greatest fear of stubborn Priv owners a few months ago, many of which clung to hopes of Android Nougat upgrades, BlackBerry officially put the kibosh on the handset’s security patches as well.
In a blog post published on Thursday, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of the Mobility Solutions Division, Alex Thurber, highlighted the BlackBerry Priv is now past the 2-year mark originally guaranteed to include monthly security updates.
Commercially released in the fall of 2015 running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, the AMOLED touchscreen/QWERTY keyboard hybrid received one major OS promotion and frequent patches, even though its “built-in security posture had little need for many of the updates delivered in conjunction with partners such as Google and Qualcomm.”
The time has come for an effective software support conclusion, but worry not, the Priv is still described as “inherently” more secure than the large majority of Android devices out there. Also, if a “critical vulnerability” is discovered down the line, BlackBerry promises to “engage its partners as needed to develop and deliver necessary patches.”
Meanwhile, the BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS platforms might be dead and buried in the eyes of the general public and market researchers, but apparently, “millions” of people still “actively” use products powered by these archaic operating systems.
Thurber has a surprise for them today, as BlackBerry is ready to commit to “at least two full years” of additional BB10 support and “at least two full years” of BBOS network access. On the not so bright side of things, the BlackBerry World app store will be terminated at the end of 2019, with the BlackBerry Travel site and the Playbook video calling service set to close their doors in February and March 2018 respectively.
In other words, you should quit while you still have some dignity left, and take advantage of an upcoming trade-up program offering a “significant discount and incentive” to switch that oldie with a hot new KEYone or Motion.