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Is This The Classic BlackBerry We’ve All Been Waiting For?

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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CEO John Chen reveals details of Kardashian-backed upcoming “BlackBerry Classic” device

BlackBerry is preparing a whole new approach to reinventing itself by introducing a new retro mobile device that harks back to the company’s golden era.

The “BlackBerry Classic” smartphone, which will be released later this year, will feature some of the trademark features which help make BlackBerry eponymous amongst business and consumer customers, including a top row of navigation keys and a trackpad.

blackberry classicLink to the past

The new device was revealed in an open letter blog post by BlackBerry CEO John Chen, which outlined how the company was now looking to stick to the old adage of, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

“It is classic BlackBerry…” Chen wrote. “It’s the device that has always felt right in your hands and always felt right in your busy day.”

He noted despite BlackBerry attempting to revolutionise its product line through the release of touchscreen devices such as the Z10, that many customers still steadfastly stuck to the BlackBerry Bold or Curve devices out of pure habit.

“When we lose sight of what you want and you need, we lose you,” he wrote.

This includes notorious Hollywood reality star and celebrity bottom Kim Kardashian, who recently professed her “love” for her classic BlackBerry device, of which she owns several, thanks to their ease of use when typing out emails.

kim kardashian blackberry carrie-nelson / Shutterstock.com“Sure, we’ve got new BlackBerry devices that break the mould, including the BlackBerry Passport,” Chen added. “But we also recognise that a lot of you continue to hang on to your Bold devices because they get the job done, day in and day out – just like you.”

“We get it, and we’ve got you covered.”

Transition

BlackBerry has been undergoing somewhat of a transition in recent years, as the company looks to restructure and focus its energies on certain markets. In August, Chen announced that the company had finally finished restructuring after three years of staff layoffs, and was now set to relaunch with special focus on its management, messaging and security services, QNX-embedded systems and high-end smartphones for businesses.

Indeed, BlackBerry created a new business unit for its most promising products, which include the QNX operating system for embedded devices, Certicom cryptography tools and Project Ion – a platform for the Internet of Things. The unit, called BlackBerry Technology Solutions (BTS), also manages the company’s 44,000-strong patent portfolio and run Paratec, an antenna research lab acquired by BlackBerry in 2012.

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