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BlackBerry Launching New ‘Classic’ Smartphone Next Week

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Manufacturer goes back to the future with latest ‘Classic’ BlackBerry device, which will be officially unveiled on December 17

BlackBerry has revealed it will launch a new ‘Classic’ device next week as the company looks to return to its roots.

The manufacturer sent out invites to an event in Frankfurt next Wednesday, where it will officially launch a new BlackBerry Classic smartphone, described by BlackBerry as “a productivity-first smartphone that combines a familiar design with upgraded speed, power, and performance”.

The Classic will include many of the features that helped make BlackBerry a major player in the smartphone business, such as the QWERTY keyboard, alongside the company’s latest software advances.

blackberry classicBlast from the past

The BlackBerry Classic has already been put up for pre-order in the UK from last week, costing £349 from the company’s website. The device, which supports 4G, has the ability to install Android apps alongside those from BlackBerry 10, which had been a concern many users.

“We heard you and we built it,” says the slogan on the pre-order page.

It was first outed by company CEO John Chen back in October, when he signalled that the handset would play a significant role in the company’s reinvention.

“It is classic BlackBerry…” Chen said, adding that BlackBerry was looking to stick to the old adage of, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. “It’s the device that has always felt right in your hands and always felt right in your busy day.”

Despite BlackBerry attempting to revolutionise its product line through the release of touchscreen devices such as the Z10, the company has found that many customers, such as Kim Kardashian, still steadfastly stuck to the BlackBerry Bold or Curve devices out of pure habit.

This is in spite of BlackBerry making major strides in terms of its software development, with BES 12, the latest version of its mobile operating system, launching last month. The new version features a comprehensive Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) platform comprising app data and device management features alongside end-to-end security powered by advanced encryption, containerisation, application wrapping and connectivity to BlackBerry’s global network.

It will look to build upon past versions of BES which have proved very popular with businesses, with BlackBerry boasting the likes of Mercedes F1 as enterprise customers.

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