When Research in Motion Limited first introduced their BlackBerry “smart phone” with a physical QWERTY keyboard that was a godsend for text messaging, they became a new technological sensation. So ubiquitous was their brainchild and its succeeding versions that their company eventually adopted the product name for themselves. Millions worldwide bought it as a status symbol, despite the fact that its internet browsing capabilities back in the day left much to be desired. President Obama counted himself among the BlackBerry series’ high-profile users. But now, as Tech Crunch reports it, that time of domination, long dwindled to a shadow of its former self, now comes to a complete stop.
BlackBerry Limited has announced in their blog last Tuesday July 5 that they are soon to cease production of the BlackBerry Q20, better known as the BlackBerry Classic – the last in their series of smartphones sporting the tactile QWERTY keyboard and running the proprietary BlackBerry Mobile Operating System, that were once the face of bleeding edge mobile devices in the years before the advent of fully touchscreen smartphones.
BlackBerry COO and Devices GM Ralph Pini, who wrote the blog post announcement, said that the Q20 Classic and its predecessors – most notably the 2013 BlackBerry Q10 and the 2011 Bold 9900 – surpassed everyone’s expectations when it became their users’ trusted workhorse gadget of choice. But, as he went on, “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.”
The post, entitled Change is Only Natural: A Classic Model Makes Way", could now be considered an official epitaph, in a way, of the stalwart BlackBerry QWERTY devices, out of the manufacturer’s own mouth. As of last week, Politico had broken the news that the US Senate will phase out BlackBerries as the device of issue for its staffers.
According to an article by CNN regarding the announcement, BlackBerry Limited has long been beset on all sides by a veritable rising tide of competing brands and devices, namely Apple and its various iGadgets as well as Samsung and a gamut of other firms all running on the Android MOS by Google.
With no more new Q20 Classics rolling off the production line, BlackBerry intends to intensify its marketing focus on the Android-running BlackBerry Priv and its Leap smartphones using the latest iteration of the BB10 MOS. Thankfully, for the Classic smartphones still in stock to be sold, and the millions already in use out in the world, Pini promises that BlackBerry will continue to support these with timely software updates as needed, like the OS version 10.3.3.
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