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BlackBerry is hitting the market by returning to their roots; releasing a new “Classic” smartphone with a traditional keyboard which seems like an un-logical choice in the time when rival Apple and Android devices – and most smartphone customers – have come to accept and use their screen for almost all functionality.
BlackBerry is calling out to it’s core customer with the Classic – business folk. The physical keyboard is a traditional asset that BlackBerry users have found to be more easier and comfortable to use than to type using a touch-screen keypad. The company is also putting their emphasis on security and long battery life, however there is little released facts to prove the ladder.
“A lot of people say the Classic is aiming for loyal customers. And that is true,” CEO John Chen said at the gadget’s launch event, tellingly held in New York City’s Financial District. But he also invited people who haven’t used a BlackBerry “especially people who are young,” to try the BlackBerry Classic.
1999 was the year BlackBerry came up with the RIM 950, and allowed on-the-go business people to access their email wirelessly. Soon however more and more competitors came around, and BlackBerry seemed to have turned ancient. Apple showed that phones could definitely perform to a greater extent past the use of email and phone calls, and all while BlackBerry was too late to overhaul its operating system.
A obvious sign to BlackBerry’s decline is their hold on the smartphone market – they only hold a small fraction compared to the nearly 50% that they continuously had going up until as late as 2009. The company is trying to stay relevant on making hardware even as it tries to transform into an enterprise security and consumer software company. Whether the Classic will sell enough to keep it in the hardware business is unclear.
“It’s going to be a niche product based around enterprise, based around security and pockets of the world where there is still strengths. The future of this company is not the hardware,” BGC analyst Colin Gillis said. The BlackBerry classic is on sale as of Wednesday (12/17/2014) for $449 in the U.S through Amazon.com and BlackBerry.com. The phone will soon be available at AT&T and Verizon shops and their respective websites.
What are your thoughts on the BlackBerry Classic? What do you love/hate about it? Let us know in the comments.