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Once a status symbol, older BlackBerry devices to go dark on Tuesday

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Once a status symbol, older BlackBerry devices to go dark on Tuesday
A Blackberry Z10 is seen at a launch event in New York City on January 30, 2013. Starting Tuesday, older BlackBerry devices that run on the BlackBerry operating system will no longer work. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Americans who still own and use classic BlackBerry devices will no longer be able to use them after Tuesday.

BlackBerry, based in Canada, says that the cellular networks and WiFi service for the older devices will no longer be available.

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Specifically, BlackBerry devices that run on the company's own operating system will no longer work. Android-powered models, such as the BlackBerry KEY2, will not be affected by the shutoff.

"We thank our many loyal customers and partners over the years and invite you to learn more about how BlackBerry provides intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world," BlackBerry said in a statement.

"The legacy services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier versions, will no longer be available after January 4, 2022."

For years, the BlackBerry was the hip device for executives and other business players on the move. It set itself apart from cellphones with its QWERTY keyboard, which allowed users to quickly send text messages. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

The closure of the service marks the end of an era that began in the early 2000s, when BlackBerry offered unique service and phones that were different than ordinary cellphones. The BlackBerry, in fact, was sort of a forerunner to modern smartphones.

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For years, the BlackBerry was the hip device for executives and other business players on the move. It set itself apart from cellphones with its QWERTY keyboard, which allowed users to quickly send text messages. Some have continued to hang onto the devices, even after they were surpassed in capability by modern smartphones.

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"They've been holding onto it for so long because there's no replacement," said Adam Matlock, who operates the YouTube technology review channel TechOdyssey, according to The New York Times.

"I always felt like BlackBerries, they were special because they had a keyboard and were not trying to be another phone with a touch screen."

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