Blackberry still exists

BlackBerry: We're still around

BlackBerry can be found hidden in the meeting room area at the fair.
Photo: Henning Gajek / If you meet high-ranking managers in the telecommunications industry and use a BlackBerry, you get the answer across all network operators and manufacturers: “Oh yes, I had one too” or “I grew up with it ". And Alex Thurber, SVP General Manager Mobility Solutions, points out with justified pride that BlackBerry has the fourth largest market in Germany for BlackBerry smartphones that are currently being sold. "We encourage TCL (the manufacturer of the devices) to do even more for the market, we know that there is a great need and a great demand here".

Older devices are still running

BlackBerry can be found hidden in the meeting room area at the fair.
Photo: Henning Gajek / There is also interesting information for users of older models. Operating system 7 has reached “End of Life”, but the systems are still running. BlackBerry still advises switching to the latest models with Android. For the widespread BlackBerry Q10 there will be "through" important security updates by the end of 2019. "And after that it will continue to work", with a slight reference to updates from other manufacturers who had often made their devices "unusable" as a result.

The topic of Android updates is also on BlackBerry's screen. "Before I came to BlackBerry, I had no idea how complicated Android updates can be."

But BlackBerry has changed from a hardware company to a software company. BlackBerry (Canada) supplies the secured Android software for the BlackBerry devices from TCL and it looks like it is “not unlikely” to get the update to Android 9 (“Pie”). But no dates were revealed.

The keyboard is the trademark

Alex Thurber, SVP Mobility Solutions, has two cell phones with BlackBerry software in hand: Key2 on the left and MP02 on the right.
Photo: Henning Gajek / BlackBerry is not only included in smartphones, the typical feature of which is the keyboard. An inconspicuous hand-held telephone “from another time”, developed by the Swiss company Punkt.Tronics, was also shown in Barcelona. This phone, the MP02, a mixture of the legendary Ericsson GH 337 and the iconic "Braun" pocket calculator, which smartphone fans can only shake their heads at, is something we will be introducing.

The Android operating system from BlackBerry has recently also been included in IoT devices, which is the heavily evaporated core operating system that can be expanded with required modules. Android runs parallel to BlackBerry's real-time operating system QNX, which is widely used in the automotive industry and already runs in 120 different vehicle types. Most of the customers behind the wheel don't even notice it. BlackBerry plans to use its operating system in other end devices, exact details are not yet clear.

Key2 RED with QWERTY keyboard

The BlackBerry Key2 RED Edition, which currently only has a QWERTY keyboard.
Photo: Henning Gajek / In Barcelona, ​​at the TCL stand, the Key2 RED model can be seen, but so far only with a QWERTY keyboard. It remains unclear whether there will be a QWERTY version later.

By the way, BlackBerry Germany has its headquarters in Düsseldorf, where the subsidiary Secusmart is also based. She developed the highly secure crypto cell phone, which is used by Chancellor Angela Merkel, for example.