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Blackberry is killing off its last traditional keyboard phone

The company said the Classic had “long surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone in today’s market”.

Image: Blackberry

THE TYPE OF phone which helped define Blackberry devices will no longer be manufactured by the company.

The Blackberry Classic, the latest phone to follow its physical keyboard and trackpad design, is being killed off with no plans to release any other similar devices.

The device was first released 18 months ago in an attempt to appeal to those who missed the physical keyboard, but it has struggled to compete against modern touchscreen smartphones from Apple and Samsung.

“For many years, Classic (and its predecessors) have been in our portfolio. It has been an incredible workhorse device for customers, exceeding all expectations,” said its Blackberry’s general officer for devices Ralph Pini.

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.

The device will still be supported by Blackberry with software updates still planned.

The company has moved away from its own phone software and has focused on Android instead. Its first Android phone was the Blackberry Priv which had a slide-out keyboard but it failed to make an impact.

The company sold only 600,000 phones overall in its most recent quarter, a drop of about 100,000 phones from the previous quarter.

It also reported a quarterly loss of $670 million in June, its biggest loss in over two years, and its CEO John Chen said at the company’s general meeting that he doesn’t “personally believe handsets will be the future of any company,” suggesting it would focus more on security and identity software.

Read: Apple may get rid of one of the iPhone’s most annoying limitations >

Read: The government is going to privatise the long-awaited rural broadband network >

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Quinton O'Reilly

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