Blackberry Classic Smartphone Officially Declared Dead

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The Blackberry Classic will no longer be produced, marking the end of another classic era. If you haven’t being abreast about the affairs in Blackberry in the last couple of years, you would think the latest Blackberry news is a big thing. That Blackberry has decided to stop production of its classic phone is no big news.

Blackberry has been going through one divorce battle after the other. First, WhatsApp announced it will discontinue support for Blackberry followed by Facebook. Even the much talked about Blackberry Priv could not save the day due to poor market performance. Just last week, the United States Senate declared it will no longer issue BlackBerry smartphones within Senate .

The news to end production of BlackBerry Classics was broken in a blog post by Ralph Pini, the Chief Operating officer and General Manager for Devices at Blackberry. You could feel the sadness in the opening lines of the post:

“Sometimes it can be very tough to let go. 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.

When I took on the role as the GM for Devices, I spoke about three critical elements for the success of our devices business. First was expanding choice for customers. Second was leveraging our unmatched experience and capabilities in security. Third was building on the BlackBerry pedigree.

These are the tenets that help keep us focused and the reasons why we are committed to the success of both BlackBerry 10 and Android devices. 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.

For many years, Classic (and its BBOS predecessors) has been in our portfolio. It has been an incredible workhorse device for customers, exceeding all expectations. But, the Classic 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 – entrenched in our legacy in security and pedigree in making the most productive smartphones.”

So now the focus is to be completely on BB10 devices and Android phones. Blackberry CEO John Chen earlier confirmed plans to release two new Android-powered BlackBerry handsets for 2016 and rumors has it that, BlackBerry is currently working on three new Android phones.

But the way things are going, demand for BB10 smartphones would soon trickle to a stop. When that happens, it would be curtains down for any new BB10 OS smartphone. All attention would now be focused on making Blackberry Android phones a success.

In October last year,  Blackberry admitted that 2016 is a crucial year for their smartphone business saying it may kill off their BlackBerry phones if they will not generate money. That is going to be a herculean task I am sure. For keen watchers of the Blackberry saga, next year is the likely date for when Blackberry would pull the plug on any kind of mobile phone production.

Here is Mr Pini talking of continuing production of BB10 devices. Don’t be confused. Blackberry would not make new models of BB10. Though it would continue to churn out already launched models of the BB10 phones. To fulfill some contractual obligations I am sure.

For now though, Blackberry would just plod along, hemorrhaging bad news as it sinks gradually to dead…. to rise again as Blackberry Android OS.

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