Kim Kardashian, a self-professed BlackBerry fanatic, is sure to be pleased as the struggling handset maker unveils its newest phone, the BlackBerry Classic, in a move the company hopes will further spur BlackBerry's turnaround strategy effort.
The Classic features the classic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard that Blackberry fans know and love, plus a battery that will hold a charge 50 percent longer than the BlackBerry Bold.
"We listened closely to our customers' feedback to ensure we are delivering the technologies to power them through their day -- and that feedback led directly to the development of BlackBerry Classic," said John Chen, CEO at BlackBerry. "BlackBerry Classic is the powerful communications tool that many BlackBerry Bold and Curve users have been waiting for. It's the secure device that feels familiar in their hands, with the added performance and agility they need to be competitive in today's busy world."
The device even has access to a number of Android apps from the Amazon app store, giving users much more variety in terms of tools and software fun.
One of the important things to note is that this device is made for those who don't like software keyboards. BlackBerry has been the master of mobile hardware keyboards for years, and it shows in its newest device.
Early reviews are looking good. Many reviewers suggest BlackBerry is making a good move by going back to its roots and giving many customers what they want. It's certain that not everyone wants a hardware keyboard, but those that do now have another option on the market. The square phone has a 720 x 720 pixel, 3.5-inch touchscreen perched above the keyboard and navigation keys.
"Today BlackBerry is launching a new smartphone that captures that ethos and demonstrates that in the second year of our turnaround, BlackBerry is picking up momentum, building a future by curating the best parts of our recent past. We are keeping the commitments we made a year ago to turn around the company and defy skeptics who had written off BlackBerry," said Chen in an interview.
The BlackBerry Classic is on sale for $449 unlocked, which can be bought either from BlackBerry's website or from Amazon.
It's unclear if the device will actually help BlackBerry get back on its feet. In August it was revealed the company only accounted for 2.3 percent of the smartphone market, far less than it had in the past. Because of this news, many expected the company to refocus its attention on software rather than hardware, but it looks as though that speculation is now incorrect. Yet BlackBerry has indicated it's mulling moving into wearables and making a big drive into the health care industry.