RIP BlackBerry Classic: Company Will Stop Making Iconic Smartphone

The BlackBerry Classic is being discontinued.

The company behind the smartphone resurrected the classic style, complete with the raised button keyboard, in 2014 as a replacement for the BlackBerry Bold.

As many people gravitated toward the touch screens of iPhones and sleek new Android devices, the BlackBerry Classic and its predecessors remained steadfast companions to business people and politicians who valued the ability to punch out a quick email while on the go.

"Sometimes it can be very tough to let go," Ralph Pini, chief operating officer and general manager for devices at BlackBerry, wrote in a blog post published today. "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.

Pini praised the phone as "an incredible workhorse device for customers, exceeding all expectations."

"But, the Classic has long surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone in today’s market," he wrote. "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."

BlackBerry has been under pressure to bolster its under-performing handset business and is placing its hopes on making phones that run on Google's operating system, Android.

John Chen, BlackBerry's chief executive officer, previously set a self-imposed deadline of making the smartphone business profitable by September.

"I’m actually quite disappointed that our hardware business isn’t better," Chen said in April, according to the Globe and Mail. "I truly believe we’re very close to break-even or profitability."



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