Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry this week announced the demise of its Classic handset, which features the iconic physical keyboard and smaller screen from older Blackberry models.
When BlackBerry’s COO and general manager for devices, Ralph Pini announced the end of the Classic, it remained unclear as to whether the entire design concept would be canned, or just the phone itself.
But it seems that, contrary to numerous reports following the announcement, the all-important keyboard will at least live on.
Alex Thurber, senior vice president for global device sales at BlackBerry, took to Twitter to clarify matters with the following tweet:
The company is rumoured to be working on three new smartphones for release this year, code-named Neon, Argon and Mercury.
While the Neon handset is expected to closely resemble the Alcatel Idol 4 – a rumour bolstered by a potential new partnership between BlackBerry and TCL – Mercury is thought to feature a physical keyboard.
The recently released BlackBerry Priv includes a slide-out version of the keyboard, but the phone failed to revive the company’s financial standing.
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BlackBerry, once one of the leading smartphone manufacturers, has struggled to maintain popularity since Google and Apple began to dominate the market with their Android and iOS touchscreen devices.
While news of the physical keyboard’s survival will be welcomed by many, the company’s recent efforts show that the feature alone isn’t enough to ensure a return to prominence.
Still, the company seems intent upon preserving its keyboard design, and it remains to be seen how BlackBerry’s upcoming handsets will fare.
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Are you pleased to hear that BlackBerry’s keyboard lives on? Let us know in the comments.