BlackBerry Ends Service on Its Once-Ubiquitous Mobile Devices

When ordinary cellphones wouldn't suffice, executives, journalists, and politicians used to use them. Anything else was for the amateur.

The devices with the quirky-sounding name and keyboard that made people type with their thumbs were more popular than the ones with the more traditional name.

As of Tuesday, the company's operating systems will no longer be used on the models. Trackballs and Tic Tac-sized letter keys will be included.

As part of an end of life program that was announced in 2020,BlackBerry said that it would no longer support the devices as of Jan. 4, 2022, as the Canadian company completes its shift from making mobile phones to a software-based business model.

For some, the deadline is a nostalgic end to an era before touch screens, Apple Pay and TikTok.

The White House stripped President Barack Obama of his phone for security reasons.

The founder of CrackBerry, a website and forum dedicated to the once popular devices, reminisced about the rise and fall of technology on Monday. Research in Motion had come to define the devices that the company, previously known asBlackBerry, abandoned making phones.

The nickname CrackBerry Kevin is used by Mr. Michaluk, who said the initial sadness for him has been lived several times. People don't know who I am, so I use my real name.

Mr. Michaluk said that the Curve, Storm, and Pearl are models that are popular with the business community, and that they enhance productivity without all of the distraction of the phone.

He said that it felt like they were causing A.D.D. for most of us. We went from analog phones to the pendulum swinging too far. You can't do anything on it because you're constantly bombarded with sensory overload.

In a message posted on its website on Dec. 22, the company reminded users that their devices would no longer be able to receive or send text messages or make phone calls over cellular networks.

The company thanked its users for their loyalty over the years, but did not comment further on Monday.

The company pointed out on its website that the models that were manufactured by the Chinese manufacturer, which ended in 2020, would not be affected by the change.

Carrie Bradshaw, the character in the new "Sex and the City" movie who uses aBlackBerry KEY2, might be a little relieved.

When Mr. Obama was elected to the presidency in 2008, he was faced with a dilemma: he was addicted to his mobile device, but still president.

In his 2020 memoir, Mr. Obama said that his team gave him a new, specially modified device after several weeks of negotiations.

Mr. Obama said that he could only send and receive emails from a list of 20 or so people that were on his phone, which did not work as a phone.

He said that he was joking when he said that his phone was like a play phone for toddlers, where they get to press buttons and things light up but nothing actually happens.

The founder of TechOdyssey, a technology review channel on YouTube, said on Monday that he received a lot of messages from people who were concerned that they wouldn't be able to use their devices.

He said that they have been holding onto it for so long because there is no replacement. BlackBerries were special because they had a keyboard and were not trying to be another phone with a touch screen.

Mr. Matlock said that it would be impossible to run older devices on major wireless carriers once 3G technology is phased out.

He said it was unfortunate that they were ending support for it. The platform is obsolete at this point, so I understand the decision.

Mr. Matlock has a collection of vintage devices in his office, including the 7100g.

He said they always felt special to him.

Mr. Kevin said his favorite model was theBlackBerry Bold 9000 because it had leather on the back.

He has a small shelf with a kickstand that leans against it. It should be called a shrine.

One of the first models he owned was theBlackBerry 8700, which had a jog wheel on the side that let users scroll through menus and messages.

He said it was a little tank. You could throw it across the room and it would keep working.

Mr. Michaluk now uses a mobile device.

He said he was now okay with that.

William Lamb was involved in reporting.