The future of BlackBerry has been plunged into uncertainty following its decision to ditch the Classic handset.
(CCM) — BlackBerry will abandon its iconic Classic smartphone which features a full QWERTY keyboard beneath a small, almost square screen, the company has announced in a blog post. The Classic, which runs the company's own BlackBerry 10 operating system, was launched in December 2014 by the troubled phone maker in a last-ditch effort to attract customers looking for a device with a real keyboard rather than keys displayed on a touchscreen. But in the blog post, the company's Chief Operating Officer, Ralph Pini, indicated that the time had come to throw in the towel when it comes to physical keyboards. "The Classic has long surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone in today’s market," he said. "To keep innovating and advancing our portfolio, we are updating our smartphone lineup with state-of-the-art devices."
In November the company launched the BlackBerry Priv, the first Blackberry device to run Android, and two further Android models are planned for 2016. But the future for these handsets hangs in the balance: the company has said that it will decide in September whether to stop making smartphones for good and concentrate instead on developing business software. BlackBerry smartphones accounted for just 0.2% of all worldwide sales in the first quarter of 2016, according to research carried out by Gartner.
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