BlackBerry to stop making Classic smartphone

BlackBerry Classic
The ailing mobile phone maker BlackBerry has parted ways with its most successful device of its times — BlackBerry Classic.

According to Ralph Pini, chief operating officer and general manager for devices at BlackBerry, the Canadian phone company 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,” Pini wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

“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,” he added.

The BlackBerry Classic was launched in late 2014 as a replacement of sorts to the BBOS-powered Q20, sporting the classic BlackBerry design with built-in QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen.

“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,” Pini wrote.

“For now, if the Classic is still your device of choice, please check with your carriers for device availability or purchase Classic unlocked online,” he suggested.

BlackBerry sold just 5 lakh phones globally in the first fiscal quarter this year — down from six lakh in the previous quarter – reporting a $670 million loss which is its biggest loss in over two years.

Although much of the loss was down to restructuring charges, sales also fell to $400 million, down 39 per cent on a year earlier.

“We continue to actively support BlackBerry 10 with software updates and are on track to deliver version 10.3.3 next month with a second update to follow next year,” Pini said.

Last year, BlackBerry tried to revive its handset business by launching Priv smartphone running Google’s Android operating system (OS). However, early sales figures have been disappointing.

It is not just WhatsApp that decided to end support for BlackBerry OS 10 services by the end of 2016, Facebook too is leaving the BlackBerry platform after announcing recently to discontinue support of its application programming interfaces (APIs) for BlackBerry. IANS