“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,” wrote Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager for Devices at BlackBerry in a blog post last week.
However, many read more into the post than just the message about BlackBerry Classic. They were wrong. “BlackBerry is not backing away from BB10. Our customers depend on the BB10 platform and they are the ones that drive our roadmap,” Marty Beard writes in a new release titled Building the Quintessential BlackBerry Experience.
“That is why we are committed to not just maintaining BB10 software, but advancing it to be even more secure and provide even greater productivity. You’ll see that with the next 10.3.3 update coming within the next month, which will be focused on enhancing our already-stellar privacy and security features. Future BB10 software updates for 2017 are already in the works. Meanwhile, BlackBerry 10 devices such as the BlackBerry Passport and Leap are still available to our loyal customers.”
Also, BlackBerry is not saying you will not be able to use your own BlackBerry Classic anymore; the smartphone maker is just saying you will no longer be able to get the Classic from it. Like the Canadian company noted in Pini’s post; ‘change is only natural’.
“Our customers also help us decide what type of keyboard we make for them. And what they ask for is choice in both a virtual and physical keyboard. This means we’ll continue to make our iconic BlackBerry keyboard. We have four physical keyboard options that we currently offer: Passport, Passport Silver Edition, Classic and PRIV. There is solid demand for physical keyboards – and as long as that’s the case, we’ll continue to make them. For virtual keyboard fans, you have Leap and PRIV (just keep that slider down),” Beard writes.
Why you still need a BlackBerry device
…Let me explain why BlackBerry’s device strategy is truly unique. It’s differentiated because it goes beyond just smartphones. Our view is the rapidly growing mobile environment is quickly being encompassed by an IoT world that requires both strong security and connectivity.”
The foundation for this started with the BB10 software platform, which was built by engineers with decades of experience in security. But we knew there was a need to bridge the connectivity gap – leveraging Android was the solution. But, we didn’t just want to create another prosaic Android device.
We wanted to merge the best of BlackBerry with Android – the notion of a new merged BlackBerry platform meant we would provide the security and connectivity BlackBerry is known for with the content available in the Android ecosystem – all in one environment.
BlackBerry is the only one with this unique flavor of smartphone in the market today. PRIV was the first iteration…and soon there will be others.
At BlackBerry, we’re not looking to fit into the industry standard mold. That’s because mobility has evolved beyond just smartphones and tablets. Besides our burgeoning enterprise software business, the new Mobility Solutions division has defined a strategy enabling us to agilely pursue opportunities in this new security-focused era.
BlackBerry has been struggling to meet hardware targets for years now, watching market share deplete to about 1 percent in the smartphone market. In a bid to stay afloat and remain relevant in the device space, BlackBerry has engaged different tactics. None seem to have worked very well but the smartphone maker has not given up.