ICYMI: The BlackBerry Physical Keyboard is Alive & Well

It was only a few short days ago that news that the BlackBerry Classic has reached the end of it’s production cycle rocked the BlackBerry community. Oddly, at that time, many media outlets, as well as members of our community used this news to once again claim the death of BlackBerry 10 and the entire device business along with it.
Of course, this was not the case. As anyone used to the negative media machine which surrounds BlackBerry should understand, things were taken to the extreme.

Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager for Devices at BlackBerry took to Inside BlackBerry to once again explain the truth behind the story. Yes, BlackBerry was ceasing production on the BlackBerry Classic, however BlackBerry was still “committed to the success of both BlackBerry 10 and Android devices”. Pini explained that the Classic had surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone in today’s market. I would take this idea even a step further by pointing to something which we all know, the Classic was made for a specific group of people, and it was a small group. The Classic was made for those diehard BlackBerry users that refused to give up the toolbelt, who refused to give up the classic BlackBerry 4 row keyboard, and those users that see one handed use as much more important than a large media consumption screen. Now, in my personal experience, the people which I know are in that small group, already have a Classic, and the Classic is of course, a BlackBerry, meaning those users won’t need to rush out and grab a replacement device any time soon. Does it mean I’m glad to see production stop? Of course not, the Classic is an absolutely beautiful phone with the best keyboard I’ve ever used on any phone, but I’m not sure making more of the same would have done anything except waste money.

BlackBerry responded to the negative media as they tend to do, truthfully. But media wasn’t done with this story yet. I’ve seen many an article pop up stating that the end of production of the Classic harkened the end of physical keyboard’s on BlackBerry. I noticed one post which took an overly smug attitude stating that BlackBerry users had moved on to touch screens and that the physical keyboard had failed to keep BlackBerry user’s interest. Well, I’m a BlackBerry user, and that writer was surely clueless. You see, that writer failed to realize that the devices which BlackBerry are still currently selling and promoting, are the BlackBerry Passport and the BlackBerry Priv. I’m using both, and can assure you that both have physical keyboards. I’ll take it a step further and promise that I am using the physical keyboard on my BlackBerry Priv more than I am using the virtual keyboard.

For anyone unsure of BlackBerry’s stance, Alex Thurber, Senior Vice President for Global Device Sales at BlackBerry took to Twitter with a reassuring Tweet.

The keyboard is here to stay. Good, now that’s settled. What’s next for the negative media spin? Perhaps a rehash of the layoffs of old? Writing old news to further tarnish the name of BlackBerry? No, that would be a tad bit blatant wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it CBC?


Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs. Former BlackBerry Elite. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.