Canning the Classic: BlackBerry smartphone mourned by fans, laughed at by critics
Long live the QWERTY keyboard
BlackBerry is getting rid of its Classic smartphone model — an announcement that has left longtime fans of the Waterloo, Ont.-based company mourning and fuelled fodder for its critics.
The phone was hailed for the return of the QWERTY keyboard, and it even brought back its Brick Breaker game. It was first rolled out in December 2014, which the company said is well beyond "the average lifespan for a smartphone in today's market."
"It has been an incredible workhorse device for customers, exceeding all expectations," said Ralph Pini, chief operating officer and general manager for devices, in a blog post shared on the company's site Tuesday.
The news brought out some ardent defenders of the BlackBerry brand.
Several said they felt the need to support the Canadian company, and that they would stick with BlackBerry for as long as they could. Even actor Ben Affleck has been seen sporting a Classic.
I loved my blackberry classic and if they make a modernized blackberry next upgrade I'll go back in a heartbeat—@SupaMalaman
<a href="https://twitter.com/CBCNews">@CBCNews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackBerry">@blackberry</a> I luv my classic! WTF?! Stop forcing me to switch!!—@starksincorp
<a href="https://twitter.com/richardquest">@richardquest</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackBerry">@BlackBerry</a> <a href="https://t.co/dJWkYGYwoj">pic.twitter.com/dJWkYGYwoj</a>—@TahaMArvas
I love my <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackBerry">@blackberry</a> classic. Plan to stick with <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackBerry">@blackberry</a> until the end. Good phone & Ontario jobs are important <a href="https://t.co/w1s4mYyHsf">https://t.co/w1s4mYyHsf</a>—@darrylwolk
The keyboard came in handy.
Some of the most vocal about Tuesday's announcement were journalists, who credited the Classic's keyboard with making it easier to file stories from the road.
Among those mourning was Richard Quest, a business correspondent with CNN International, who declared the news "the end of civilization."
Ok. I may be old Luddite but I love my <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackBerry">@BlackBerry</a> classic with its real qwerty keyboard <a href="https://t.co/iLmCtF80xv">pic.twitter.com/iLmCtF80xv</a>—@richardquest
<a href="https://twitter.com/richardquest">@richardquest</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackBerry">@BlackBerry</a> made speed typing for journalists easy. My current phone is constantly vulnerable to turning santa into satan.—@pvercammencnn
And yes, there were insults.
BlackBerry has become somewhat of a punchline in the world of smartphones for its lacklustre sales and its lack of apps — both Facebook and CBC News have ended support for the BlackBerry versions of their apps.
For almost every tweet in support of the Classic, there was a joke that the smartphone model was still even around.
BlackBerry has dropped the Classic model from it’s lineup. This is bad news for its user base, Steve Lewis of Burlington, Ontario.—@jeffdespres
If you still own and use a Blackberry Classic, let me know and I'll gladly give you a tour of 2016. <a href="https://t.co/qmHzGkN8mD">https://t.co/qmHzGkN8mD</a>—@MonikaPlatek
<a href="https://twitter.com/MonikaPlatek">@MonikaPlatek</a> i'll give you a call and we can schedule that tour <a href="https://t.co/adZIYLKB2q">pic.twitter.com/adZIYLKB2q</a>—@CamShaft84
Which is more surprising: a) BlackBerry is no longer going to make the classic BlackBerry, or b) they've been making them this whole time?—@zenbecca
What does the future hold?
To fill the gap, the company said it plans to roll out two mid-range Android-powered smartphones during its current fiscal year.
Yes, it is time to move on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackBerry?src=hash">#BlackBerry</a>. <a href="https://t.co/IPBmdu4Eot">https://t.co/IPBmdu4Eot</a>—@JimRhodes2