BlackBerry ditches traditional keyboard as it discontinues Classic handset

It comes as the company recently announced quarterly losses of £520m.

Classic_black_bg

Mobile phone company BlackBerry has discontinued the traditional QWERTY keyboard dominating the face of the phone that it became known for over a decade ago, with the announcement that it will no longer manufacture its Classic model.

The Classic handset was first introduced in 2014 as a follow on from its BlackBerry OS predecessors, in an attempt to appeal to people who still prefer to use plastic keys and track pads rather than completely touchscreen devices.

“Sometimes it can be very tough to let go,” writes chief operating officer and general manager for devices, Ralph Pini, in a company blog post announcing BlackBerry’s decision.

Replaced by two mid-range Android devices

“For BlackBerry, and more importantly for our customers, the hardest part in letting go is accepting that change makes way for new and better experiences.”

While BlackBerry still has two handsets with physical keyboards – PRIV and Passport – the Classic is the last handset to feature its traditional physical keyboard that dominates the face of the phone.

To replace the handset, BlackBerry is set to release two new mid-range Android devices next February. The news comes as the company announced a quarterly loss of $670 (£520m) million last month.

“workhorse device”

“[The Classic] has been an incredible workhorse device for customers, exceeding all expectations,” says Pini.

“But, [it] has long surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone in today’s market. We are ready for this change so we can give our customers something better.

Manufacturing of the Classic has been suspended from now, but the handset will still be available online while stocks last.

This story was updated: 12/07/16 

Classic_Front_2
Classic_clack_front
Classic_black_sideB
Classic_black_sideA
Classic_black_back
Hide Comments (4)Show Comments (4)
Comments
  • Nevin July 8, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Blackberry is cancelling the “Classic” phone but not their iconic keyboard! Both the Blackberry Passport and PRIV have the keyboard as well and more models are expected. The keyboard is not going anywhere!

    • Tom Banks July 12, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Thanks for your comment Nevin, we have added this clarifying statement: “While BlackBerry still has two handsets with physical keyboards – PRIV and Passport – the Classic is the last handset to feature its traditional physical keyboard that dominates the face of the phone.”

  • John July 11, 2016 at 2:56 am

    This article is not even close to what was posted by Ralph Pini in the BlackBerry blog post. BlackBerry are only discontinuing the Classic smartphone, not every BlackBerry smartphone with a physical keyboard. A little knowledge of BlackBerry’s existing phones and upcoming phones would show you that.

    You can currently get a physical keyboard with the BlackBerry Passport (running BB10) and BlackBerry Priv (running Android) handsets. BlackBerry CEO John Chen has also announced that the company are due to release two Android handsets and one of those will come with a physical keyboard.

    BlackBerry have no intention of giving up on producing smartphones with a physical keyboard.

    BlackBerry have also never announced that they are discontinuing the BlackBerry 10 OS.

    • Tom Banks July 12, 2016 at 11:41 am

      John, we have added this clarifying paragraph: “While BlackBerry still has two handsets with physical keyboards – PRIV and Passport – the Classic is the last handset to feature its traditional physical keyboard that dominates the face of the phone.”

  • Post a comment

Latest articles