Blackberry Hits Delete On Keyboard-Based “Classic” Phone

Associated Press

The Blackberry keyboard-based smartphone that was once a status symbol for Hollywood’s power elite is about to join the Palm Pilot and LaserDisc players in the tech gizmo graveyard.

The company says today that it will stop production of BlackBerry Classic, the last of the smartphones with a physical keyboard it has made since 2003.

The model, introduced in late 2014, “has been an incredible workhorse device for customers, exceeding all expectations,” COO Ralph Pini says in a blog post. “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.”

He adds that the company will still “actively support” the BlackBerry 10 operating system with version 10.3.3 due next month and an update next year.

The announcement sent Blackberry shares down 2.6%. Last week the U.S. Senate said that it will stop offering Blackberry phones as options for administrative workers.

The struggling company — whose shares have lost more than 77% of their value over the last five years — has changed direction. It now focuses on phones and software for Google’s Android platform.

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