BlackBerry is killing off its Classic smartphone

Things haven’t been going great for BlackBerry of late, and now it seems the struggling phone maker is canning its BlackBerry Classic phone after just 18 months.

Based on the BlackBerry design of years past, the Classic was released in 2014 as an attempt to revive the phone maker’s popularity after it struggled to maintain market share in the face of Google and Apple’s increasing domination of the smartphone industry.

The handset featured the now iconic physical keyboard which helped establish BlackBerry as a leader in the industry 10 years ago.

In a blog post, BlackBerry’s Chief Operating Officer and General Manager for Devices, Ralph Pini, explained: “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.”

Related: Best smartphone

BlackBerry ClassicThe Classic was leaked prior to its release

Running BlackBerry 10 software, rather than Google’s Android OS, the BlackBerry Classic differed from the recently released Priv, which does use Android.

The company is expected to release three new Android-powered handsets this year, code-named Neon, Argon, and Mercury, all of which will ditch any design similarities to the Classic.

Pini writes: “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.”

Despite the demise of the Classic model, BlackBerry will continue to support BlackBerry 10 with software updates, with version 10.3.3 due next month.

VIDEO: What’s the no.1 smartphone in the world?

Are you sad to see the BlackBerry Classic go? Let us know in the comments.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor