IN news likely to send Kim Kardashian straight to eBay, BlackBerry revealed plans to stop making the phone it launched to save its ailing business.
The Canadian firm confirmed it will no longer produce its BlackBerry Classic model — the modern handset most closely resembling the keyboard-toting, calculator-like handsets that made its name
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BlackBerry chief operating officer Ralph Pini made the announcement, calling the BlackBerry “an incredible workhorse” that had outlived its usefulness “after many successful years in the market”.
“Sometimes it can be very tough to let go,” he said.
“But 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 BlackBerry Classic, launched just 18 months ago, had been designed to appeal to longstanding BlackBerry fans, particularly those who prized its ergonomic physical keyboard.
Those fans include reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who is still photographed carrying both a BlackBerry and an Apple iPhone.
She once admitted she snaps up BlackBerry handsets on eBay out of fear that “they will go extinct”.
BlackBerry’s move away from its Classic model will pave the way for new handsets with BlackBerry and Google Android software, Mr Pini said.
But the company is also expected to focus more heavily on its software, known for its secure encryption.
The company last year confirmed it would cut jobs as part of a major restructure to offset weak phone sales.