A Sad Day for Punchers: BlackBerry to Discontinue Its Last Keyboard Phone
The struggling Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry made a sharp detour from its history on Tuesday with the announcement that it was discontinuing the last phone to have the company’s iconic physical keyboard and trackpad.
“Sometimes it can be very tough to let go,” Ralph Pini, BlackBerry’s chief operating officer and general manager for devices, wrote in a corporate blog post announcing the end of the BlackBerry Classic. “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.”
“有时放弃很难，”黑莓的首席运营官兼电子设备总经理拉尔夫·皮尼(Ralph Pini)在公司博客上宣布黑莓经典(BlackBerry Classic)停产的帖子中写道，“对黑莓来说，更重要的是对我们的顾客来说，放弃最难的一点是接受变化将带来更新更好的体验。”
John Chen, BlackBerry’s chief executive, with a BlackBerry Classic.
The Classic was introduced in late 2014 by BlackBerry to win back users who prefer plastic keys and trackpads to the touch screens that dominate the operation of its newer models, even ones with keyboards.
Because the company does not break out sales of individual models, it is impossible to judge the Classic’s reception. But BlackBerry’s phone business is generally unprofitable and declining.
Late last month, BlackBerry announced a quarterly loss of $670 million. That was about three times the company’s loss in the previous quarter and largely reflected write-downs in the value of its phone business.
The Classic ran the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which the company had hoped would again make it a vibrant force in smartphones. But it has since turned its attention to phones based on Google’s Android software.
Mr. Pini’s post made no mention of the fate of the other BlackBerry 10 models, which still appeared on the company’s website Tuesday evening.
He did acknowledge, however, that some customers may still refuse to give up on the traditional BlackBerry shape regardless of the company’s plans.
Die-hards were encouraged by Mr. Pini to see if their carriers still had Classics available. He added that BlackBerry had some remaining stock on sale online.