If you haven’t being plugged-in about the affairs in Blackberry in the last couple of years, you would think the latest Blackberry new is a big thing. That Blackberry has decided to stop production of its classic phone is no big news.
The phone been referred to in this case is the globally recognized hardware component of all Blackberry phones, with its the iconic keyboard. To be clear, with this announcement, it is now bye bye to physical qwerty keyboard on Blackberry smartphones.
Ten years ago, this would have being big news. For now, it is just a stop in the downward slide of Blackberry phones. Just a brief stop to make the announcement that they have stopped making the classic keyboard. How long would the all-capacitive touch screen phone be in production? Not for too long I bet.
The news was broken in a blog post by Ralph Pini, the Chief Operating officer and General Manager for Devices at Blackberry. You could feel the sadness in the opening lines of the post:
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.
When I took on the role as the GM for Devices, I spoke about three critical elements for the success of our devices business. First was expanding choice for customers. Second was leveraging our unmatched experience and capabilities in security. Third was building on the BlackBerry pedigree.
These are the tenets that help keep us focused and the reasons why we are committed to the success of both BlackBerry 10 and Android devices. To keep innovating and advancing our portfolio, we are updating our smartphone lineup with state of the art devices. As part of this, and after many successful years in the market, we will no longer manufacture BlackBerry Classic.
For many years, Classic (and its BBOS predecessors) has been in our portfolio. It has been 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. 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.”
So now the focus is to be completely on BB10 devices and Android phones.
However it was just last week that the US Senate dropped the BB10 devices as the smartphone of choice for Senate workers. The reason being that since Blackberry has decided to stop making phones with that OS, there was no point continuing the partnership with Blackberry.
But here is Mr Pini talking of continuing production of BB10 devices. Don’t be confused. Blackberry would not make new models of BB10. Though it would continue to churn out already launched models of the BB10 phones. To fulfill some contractual obligations I am sure.
But the way things are going, demand for BB10 smartphones would soon trickle to a stop. When that happens, it would be curtains down for any new Bb10 OS smartphone. All attention would now be focused on making Blackberry Android phones a success.
That is going to be a herculean task I am sure. For keen watchers of the Blackberry saga, next year is the likely date for when Blackberry would pull the plug on any kind of mobile phone production.
This is predicated on the fact that the first Blackberry Android phone, Priv, did not make the expected sales at the rarefied high-end niche. So it is not likely the two new Android phones scheduled to be released this year would make it in the crowded mid-range niche. Unless they can offer an unbeatable combination of low price and top specs.
For now though, Blackberry would just plod along, hemorrhaging bad news as it slinks gradually to dead.
image credit: YouTube; digitaltrends.com; Blackberry;