If there is one feature that BlackBerry loyal owners love using it’s the physical QWERTY keyboard, which has deep roots in the history and evolution of smartphones.
Earlier this week, BlackBerry announced it will no longer manufacture the BlackBerry Classic, a device it brought back in 2014 to reinvigorate its customer base. “Sometimes it can be very tough to let go. For BlackBerry, and more importantly for our customers, the hardest part in letting go is accepting that change makes way for new and better experiences,” said BlackBerry in a blog post.
The Classic, which is hailed as “an incredible workhorse device” by the company, can still be purchased with various carrier partners around the world and unlocked through its online store. BlackBerry says it will “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.”
Apart from its commitment to its own operating system, BlackBerry is also showing a commitment to producing handsets, specifically noting it’s “committed to the success of both BlackBerry 10 and Android devices.”
On Twitter, Alex Thurber, BlackBerry’s Senior Vice President for Global Device Sales, stated, “In response to some recent press reports, I want to be clear that BlackBerry users have nothing to fear – the keyboard is here to stay…”
As previously reported, BlackBerry is expected to release three new Android devices in the coming months known by the codename of Neon, Argon, and Mercury.
The 5.2-inch Neon and 5.5-inch Argon are expected to be running Android and come with a touchscreen display. The Mercury is tipped to be available later this year or early next year and sport a physical QWERTY keyboard.
Related reading: BlackBerry hires new executive to help resuscitate device sales