Are the bells tolling for the iconic smartphone keyboard?
After attempting to inspire a mini-renaissance through its Classic phone, Blackberry appears to have taken on board the writing on the wall.
The company has announced it will cease production of the phone just 18 months after launching, with customers seemingly not responding to the handset.
Designed for an existing base of BlackBerry fans – offering features that essentially made it a mix of the earlier Bold and Q10 – the phone was also an attempt to bring new customers into the fold. The design sells of a physical keyboard, messaging hub and longer battery life don’t appear to have lured in potential buyers, however.
The phone also used the company’s own BlackBerry 10 operating system, instead of Google’s far more popular Android platform, which BlackBerry has started using in other phones.
Ralph Pini, the company’s chief operating officer and general manager for devices, said in a blog post: “To keep innovating and advancing our portfolio, we are updating our smartphone lineup with state of the art devices.
“As part of this, and after many successful years in the market, we will no longer manufacture BlackBerry Classic.”
It had been rumoured that more keyboard-featuring phones would be going with the Classic, but it now appears that isn’t the case.
Pini also noted that the company will continue to support the BlackBerry 10 software, as well as Android.