Almost two years after releasing the BlackBerry Classic, the company has announced that it will stop producing the device. The BlackBerry Classic was intended to attract consumers who preferred a physical keyboard to touchscreen, but it seems that the manufacturer has decided to retire the handset.

BlackBerry has announced its intention to stop manufacturing BlackBerry Classic smartphones and focus on Android models instead. The company’s Chief Operating Officer and General Manager for Devices, Ralph Pini, has stated, “the Classic has long surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone in today’s market.”

It’s a rather curious thing to say about a two-year-old handset, but considering the pace of today’s smartphone market, manufacturers need to release a new model or variant every few months in order to stay competitive.

BlackBerry will be launching three Android devices in the next 12 months

Pini has pointed out in the blog post that the company is ready for a change and wishes to give its customers something better. He might be referring to Android smartphones with touchscreen, which obviously dominate most market segments.

Previous reports showed that BlackBerry intended to release three Android smartphones over the next 12 months, one of which would come with a physical QWERTY keyboard. The devices feature the Neon, Argon and Mercury codenames, and the first one to hit the market will be Neon, in July or August.

Argon will come with 4GB of RAM, Snapdragon 820 SoC, and 32GB of internal memory, set to launch in October. The last one is Mercury and will have a physical keyboard and 3GB of RAM, aside from other specs.

The company has stated that the BlackBerry Classic unlocked is still available for purchase on the manufacturer’s website and that BlackBerry will continue to support BlackBerry 10 with software updates and will deliver version 10.3.3 next month, with a second update to arrive next year.

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