Once Again, BlackBerry Phases Out Its Old-School Smartphone

Goodbye again old friend.

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Say farewell to the clackety-keyboard BlackBerry. Again.

BlackBerry’s once-pervasive smartphone—the company boasted by some estimates 40 percent market share in 2009—had long lost its dominance by 2014, by which point its devices comprised only 1.8 percent of the market for smartphones. Given the speed, touch-screen technology, and crisp picture quality of iPhones, Androids, and other competitors, it is no surprise that the clunky BlackBerry 8700g fell to the wayside.

The company tried releasing sleeker designs with touch screens to keep up with Apple and the like, but its market share continued to dwindle. In 2015, BlackBerry made a retro reversal, releasing a new, familiar-looking model called the “Classic.” This throwback offered a physical keyboard and a slightly slimmer but still-clunky look. Clearly eyeing an older business crowd that missed the precision of a keyboard with actual keys and sturdiness of the old phones’ black synthetic material, the company made a leap to see if there was a market that it was missing.

Suffice it to say, the market wasn’t there. So once again, the BlackBerry Classic is disappearing, the company announced Tuesday. The overhauled version of the BlackBerry 10 operating system wasn’t enough. More recent phones released by BlackBerry operate on Android software, which can access apps that the BlackBerry operating system couldn’t run. Since the phone didn’t really boast anything not available on the market other than its touch keyboard, and since its operating system actually limited what its users could access, it’s no surprise that retro appeal didn’t win the day.