BlackBerry OS is a discontinued proprietary mobile operating system developed by Canadian company BlackBerry Limited for its BlackBerry line of smartphone handheld devices. The operating system provides multitasking and supports specialized input devices adopted by BlackBerry for use in its handhelds, particularly the trackwheel, trackball, and most recently, the trackpad and touchscreen.

BlackBerry OS
BlackBerry OS logo
DeveloperBlackBerry Limited
Written inC++ before 2002, Java since 2002[1]
OS familyMobile operating systems
Working stateDiscontinued (replaced by BlackBerry 10; and Android)
Source modelClosed source
Initial releaseJanuary 19, 1999; 25 years ago (1999-01-19) (as Version 1.0 for BlackBerry 850 pager)[2]
March 4, 2002; 22 years ago (2002-03-04) (as Version 3.6 for BlackBerry 5810 smartphone)[3][4]
Latest release7.1.0.2931 (BlackBerry 9790/9900)[5] / November 2013; 10 years ago (2013-11)
Marketing targetSmartphone
Available inMultilingual
Package managerBlackBerry Desktop Manager
PlatformsBlackBerry line of smartphones
Kernel typeProprietary
user interface
Java virtual machine
Succeeded byBlackBerry 10
Official website (Archive)
Support status

The BlackBerry platform natively supports corporate email, through Java Micro Edition MIDP 1.0 and, more recently, a subset of MIDP 2.0, which allows complete wireless activation and synchronization with Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, or Novell GroupWise email, calendar, tasks, notes and contacts, when used with BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The operating system also supports WAP 2.0.

Updates to the operating system were automatically available from wireless carriers that supported the BlackBerry over the air software loading (OTASL) service.

Third-party developers wrote software using the available BlackBerry API classes, although applications that made use of certain functionality needed to be digitally signed.

Research from June 2011 indicated that approximately 45% of mobile developers were using the platform.[6]

BlackBerry OS was discontinued after the release of BlackBerry 10 in January 2013,[7] and support for it ceased on January 4, 2022.[8]

Release history

Table of versions: BlackBerry
Version Release date Features / Information about
1 January 1999; 25 years ago (1999-01)

BlackBerry OS made its debut and was released for the BlackBerry 850 pager.

4 March 2002; 22 years ago (2002-03) Released on the BlackBerry 5810 smartphone. First version to support Java applications.
5.0 August 4, 2009; 14 years ago (2009-08-04) Released on the BlackBerry Bold 9000 and came to other BlackBerry smartphones a short while after.
6.0 Q3 2010 In April 2010, BlackBerry Limited announced BlackBerry OS 6.0, which was released in the third quarter of 2010.[9] This version included a new WebKit-based browser.[10]
7.0 August 2011; 12 years ago (2011-08) BlackBerry OS 7 featured various performance improvements (including use of "Liquid Graphics" technology to improve touchscreen performance), a "significantly enhanced" web browser (including HTML video support), voice-activated search, and "BlackBerry Balance"—a feature allowing personal and work-related content to be separated from each other on a single device. This version launched exclusively on new BlackBerry models concurrently announced, including the Bold 9900 and 9930, and Torch 9810 and 9860, among others, with BlackBerry Limited stating that it would not release updates for existing devices.[11][12]
7.1 January 2012; 12 years ago (2012-01) This was an update to 7.0 and added several new features compared to it, including[13]

While it was later superseded by the BlackBerry 10 operating system, it remained available particularly on the BlackBerry 9720.

Version Release date Features / Information about

BlackBerry 9720


The BlackBerry 9720 runs a version of BlackBerry OS 7.1 with updates to the user interface that mimics BlackBerry 10, including a new lock screen, Application Switcher and Music, Pictures, Videos and Phone apps.[14]



While BlackBerry Limited developed and released updated versions of its operating system for each device, individual carriers decided if and when a version was released to their users.

BlackBerry OS has now reached end-of-life.[8] Therefore, devices running it are no longer sold new.

Version Supported devices: BlackBerry 8000 series
4.5 BlackBerry devices in the 8100 and 8800 series, plus BlackBerry Curve 8300/8310/8320.
4.6 BlackBerry Pearl Flip.
5.0 BlackBerry Curve 8330/8350i/8520/8530/8900.
Version Supported devices: BlackBerry 9000 series
5.0 BlackBerry Bold 9000, BlackBerry Storm, BlackBerry Storm 2 and BlackBerry Tour.
6.0 BlackBerry Bold 9650/9700/9780, BlackBerry Curve 9300/9330, BlackBerry Pearl 9100/9105, BlackBerry Style 9670 and BlackBerry Torch 9800.
7.0 BlackBerry Bold 9790/9900/9930, BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360/9370/9380 and BlackBerry Torch 9810/9850/9860.
7.1 BlackBerry Curve 9220/9310/9315/9320 and BlackBerry 9720.

BlackBerry fonts


The following is a list of fonts included in BlackBerry OS (some are not included in older versions):[15][16]

BBAlphaSans and BBAlphaSerif are based on the free software DejaVu fonts.[17]

BlackBerry Tablet OS


On September 27, 2010, BlackBerry Limited announced a new unrelated QNX-based platform, BlackBerry Tablet OS, to run on its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer.[18]

See also



  1. ^ "Can I make C++ programs for BlackBerry (examples?) - Stack Overflow". August 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
  2. ^ PhoneDB. "Headlines - OS Specs - PhoneDB - The Largest Phone Specs Database".
  3. ^ PhoneDB. "RIM BlackBerry 5810 - Device Specs - PhoneDB".
  4. ^ "BlackBerry 5810 Wireless Handheld™ e BlackBerry 5820 Wireless Handheld™" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on September 17, 2008.
  5. ^ "NEW OS (All Lang) FROM O2 UK - BlackBerry Forums at".
  6. ^ "Developer Economics 2011". Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  7. ^ BlackBerry (November 12, 2012). "BlackBerry 10 handsets confirmed for January 30 launch". Telegraph. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS Services FAQ — End of Life". Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  9. ^ "Official BlackBerry 6 Preview Video from WES 2010". CrackBerry. April 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  10. ^ "Feature and Technical Overview - BlackBerry Browser - 6.0". BlackBerry. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  11. ^ "RIM launches BlackBerry Torch 9810, Torch 9860 and Bold 9900, we go hands-on!". Engadget. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  12. ^ "RIM announces BlackBerry 7 OS with better browser and BlackBerry Balance, but no legacy support". Engadget. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  13. ^ "BlackBerry 7.1 OS and New App Updates Now Available!". Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  14. ^ "New BlackBerry 9720 Smartphone Lets You Spark The Conversation". BlackBerry Press Room. Archived from the original on August 16, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  15. ^ "What is Your Favorite BlackBerry OS 6 Font?". February 1, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  16. ^ "How to set the font family "ARIAL" in the RichTextField?". July 13, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2011. Prior to OS 5.0, you were restricted to the fonts installed by BlackBerry Ltd. on your Blackberry. If you are trying to get Arial on a pre OS 5.0 device, you can not.
  17. ^ "Like Those Pretty Fonts in OS 4.5+? Thank Bitstream (Bolt) & DejaVu". August 7, 2009.
  18. ^ BlackBerry Ltd. Unveils The BlackBerry PlayBook, official press release, September 27, 2010