At the Mobile World Congress 2014, where the company showed off BlackBerry Z3, CEO John Chen said that they’re working on a high-end QWERTY model which will go back to the Bold’s roots. The company hasn’t shown it as yet, but Chen did tease a bit about it at MWC. Its going to have a Bold-like look, apart from a trackpad and the iconic function key belt. At the time this smartphone was referred to as the BlackBerry Q20. Chen has now confirmed that it has been renamed, and will be launched as “BlackBerry Classic.”
Talking to reporters, Chen said that BlackBerry plans to focus on making QWERTY keyboard touting smartphones, but it will also come up with a few touchscreen models as well. The company’s device strategy for 2014 isn’t entirely out in the open as yet. So far it has only unveiled the Z3 which will initially be destined for emerging markets, though a LTE variant will be sold in major markets like the U.S.
BlackBerry decided to lean on the past in order to retain and bring back loyalists, users who can’t imagine using a BlackBerry without a trackpad and the function key belt. Since the BB Classic isn’t expected until fiscal 2015, the company has even restarted production of the Bold 9900 to bring a subset of those users back in the fold once again.
It appears that Chen may have been able to convince everyone over at BlackBerry that straying from the naming scheme laid down last year might be beneficial in the long run. Will a clean slate help? Time will tell.