Goodbye to more tactile keys, and hello to planes of cool and smooth glass. Today, BlackBerry confirmed that it will stop making the Classic, one of the company’s last smartphone models based around a physical keyboard for inputting text, as the company prepares for a new series of phone designs based on Android and BlackBerry 10 platforms, and more attempts to compete in an increasingly lopsided smartphone market.
“But, the Classic has long surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone in today’s market,” Ralph Pini, BlackBerry Chief Operating Officer, writes in a blog post. “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.”
The company will cease manufacturing the device but won’t stop supporting it immediately. A software update — to OS 10.3.3 — will be out next month, and another update will follow in 2017. So what does this mean for the former workhorse devices?
First of all, it means that your AOL-using parents will likely have to change at some point in the future. The BlackBerry has long since fallen out of favor with the younger consumer, but had served as one of the phones available to the U.S. Senate and staff for quite some time. Of course, President Obama has a great story about one.
Second of all, it could mean another entrant into the mobile marketplace. While the BlackBerry Classic was a dependable presence, the security blanket must have stopped innovation to some degree at the mobile company. All those engineers will now be free — forced to be free — to come up with something newer and better. Though previous attempts by BlackBerry to insert itself into the smartphone market have been hilariously awful, this could mean that they produce something that someone will want to use. Androids and iPhones are great for consumer use, but still kind of annoying to have to use for business purposes. Maybe BlackBerry can beat them in that sector.