It’s the end of an era. Again.
On Tuesday, BlackBerry COO Ralph Pini confirmed that the company would no longer manufacture BlackBerry Classic smartphones, putting another nail in the coffin for the physical keyboards that have defined the company for years.
“For many years, Classic (and its BBOS predecessors) has been in our portfolio,” Pini explains. “It has been an incredible workhorse device for customers, exceeding all expectations. 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 – entrenched in our legacy in security and pedigree in making the most productive smartphones.”
BlackBerry is clearing the way for new devices, but the company isn’t ready to discuss any of those devices in detail just yet. Thankfully, mobile sleuth Evan Blass is on the case, and the surprise might have been spoiled.
A source briefed on BlackBerry’s plans tells Blass that the company is planning one Android phone every quarter for the next three quarters.
The first, codenamed Neon, is said to feature a 1080p 5.2-inch touchscreen display, a Snapdragon 617 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 2160 mAh battery. It is also expected to be composed of an aluminum frame with a plastic back and come equipped with a 13 megapixel rear camera. Neon is expected to go on sale in July or August at a budget price.
Argon, the second phone, has significantly more impressive specs. The device will reportedly feature a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 3000 mAh battery and a 21-megapixel rear camera. Sources believe it should launch some time in October.
Mercury, the third and final phone revealed by the source, has fairly moderate specs, but the big news is that this 2017 device has been said to include a physical keyboard. Whether or not this phone (or any of these phones) actually release remains to be seen, but Blass has a pretty good track record, so don’t be surprised if BlackBerry Android devices start launching at a rapid pace.