As BlackBerry completely pivots in the favor of its newer, flashier lineup of candybar Android smartphones, its QWERTY phones are naturally being punted into the sunset. The KeyOne is on its way, and the TCL-owned BlackBerry now sees no reason to continue selling the Priv, Passport, Classic, and other models for that matter — at least in the United States.
That's right. BlackBerry has pulled the aforementioned models from its U.S. and Canadian online stores. But the DTEK50 and DTEK60 will still be available — in discounted prices at that. As part of its May sale, BlackBerry is currently offering the DTEK50 for only $229, which typically goes for $299. Meanwhile, the DTEK60 will only run you $460, which typically goes for $499.
Both the DTEK50 and DTEK60 are the only ones with listings on BlackBerry's site. Pick the Priv, Passport, Classic, and Leap, and you'll only get listings for their respective accessories.
What The Priv Was Supposed To Do For BlackBerry
The Priv was the first BlackBerry smartphone to ever offer a full-fledged Android operating system, which opened the device to Google's massive library of apps and games. Apart from a touchscreen, the Priv came with BlackBerry's signature QWERTY keyboard. It was, in broad strokes, the device meant to secure BlackBerry's relevance in a market it was slowly losing its grip on.
BlackBerry devices were once perched atop the smartphone pile. Then came the iPhone. Then came Android. Then major players started emerging; the place was getting crowded. Somebody needed to step aside and make way. BlackBerry didn't want to. BlackBerry needed to prove it was playing its cards right, and while for a brief stint it was able to survive, the smartphone industry is fickle, as always. Look at what happened to Nokia.
How BlackBerry Fell
So after struggling to remain, it crumbled. It's almost impossible when you think about it. At present time, iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones rule the smartphone sphere. Hard to imagine that BlackBerry had once been a major, formidable player. Hard to imagine that business people lusted for its QWERTY keyboard, that high-profile individuals, including the president, were once seen with a BlackBerry device. You can probably write a whole book detailing the ways, the specific elements, and the attributes — both of BlackBerry and the industry it's part of — that helped issue its eventual death knell.
BlackBerry's descent is storied and complex, one which can't be explained intricately in just one article. But if there's one thing to learn from its downward spiral, it's the fact that if it can happen to BlackBerry, it can happen to Apple, Samsung, Huawei, LG, and so many other companies. Apple or Samsung shutting down? For now, it seems extremely improbable. But it seemed improbable then for BlackBerry, too. Time will tell, as always.