Blackberry to ditch Classic keyboard smartphone

Blackberry says ‘change is only natural’ as it announces plans to discontinue the Blackberry Classic

Blackberry to ditch Classic keyboard smartphone

Fans of physical smartphone keyboards everywhere will be tapping out their sorrow as Blackberry has announced that it’s planning to discontinue its Classic model, the last Blackberry handset to feature the traditional keyboard and trackpad dominating the face of the phone.

The death of the BlackBerry smartphone as it once was has been a long time coming, but Pini’s blog post sounds the death knell for a formidable form factor dragged down by sluggish software and poor executive foresight from BlackBerry’s leadership. A market for phones with great QWERTY keyboards like the ones BlackBerry used to manufacturer still exists — Samsung makes a “keyboard case” for its flagship Galaxy S7 phones — and it may prove ill-advised for the company to move away from the one unique hardware component it ever made.

BlackBerry will probably continue to make Android phones with physical QWERTY keypads, with actual buttons, like the Passport and PRIV. However, these phones feel like novelties, throwbacks to a bygone era when keyboards ruled.

Sure, BlackBerry could eventually release an Android-powered, candy-bar style phone with a “real” BlackBerry keyboard. But that seems unlikely. The consumer masses flocked to all-touch devices, typing accuracy be damned, and BlackBerry’s just trying to lift itself out of the red, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for bold departures from the norm.