BlackBerry CEO John Chen has been doing a good job of keeping the company in the news. Last year all we heard about the company was either related to its declining sales or precarious financial situation, not much was being said or written about its future plans. Ever since the new management took hold of the reins, they’ve spun the media machine to focus on the devices that BlackBerry will launch in the coming years. At a reporters’ roundtable recently CEO John Chen said that Bold loyalists can expect to see more full QWERTY handsets in the future.
Chen doesn’t seem to be putting all eggs in one basket like the previous regime, which bet everything on BlackBerry 10 hoping that it would help them regain lost ground. It didn’t. Chen said that at least for the next 2-3 years “the only people we can really interest are the prosumers.” Despite the fact that it has also lost a lot of corporate clients the company is desperately trying to hold on to those that have not yet shifted.
To appease QWERTY loyalists, the company announced that it will resurrect the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and start production once again until its Q10 successor is ready. Dubbed BlackBerry Classic, it will feature a trackpad and function key belt like BB devices from the past, though it isn’t expected to hit the market until fiscal 2015.
While Chen says that majority of the company’s phones will be touting keyboards, they won’t kill touchscreen models. Its very likely that Foxconn, under its five year deal, will continue to manufacture touchscreen BlackBerry phones. The first fruit of this partnership is the BlackBerry Z3 which is yet to be released. BlackBerry has already confirmed that it will only build high-end devices itself, so it may only make full QWERTYs from now on.