When the BlackBerry Passport was launched a couple of months back the company said that it would conduct a launch event for BlackBerry Classic in December. Today is the day this event took place in Frankfurt, Singapore and NYC, particularly its Financial District. There’s a reason why these launch locations were chosen. The Classic is aimed squarely at the company’s loyal business and enterprise users who simply want a device that has good battery life, a great email experience and an iconic full QWERTY keyboard that BlackBerry has always been famous for.
The BlackBerry 9900 was considered to be one of the company’s most successful devices, so much so that BlackBerry started producing units once again this year to appease old users, and to sell some devices between the time it took for the Passport to be unveiled and finally be shipped to customers.
Naturally the 9900 was an inspiration for the Classic, which features the familiar trackpad and function key belt with call accept/decline, back and BB menu keys. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that “CEOs of top banks would pull out their 9900s and say ‘don’t mess around with this thing.'”
Clearly there is a niche that BlackBerry is targeting here and its certainly not chasing after the consumer market in a bid to counter the likes of Apple and Samsung.
BlackBerry Classic has a 3.5-inch touch screen HD resolution display with 294 dpi and Gorilla Glass 3. There’s a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor under the hood with 2GB RAM, 16GB of onboard storage with microSD card expansion, 8 megapixel rear and 2 megapixel front facing cameras.
It’s powered by the latest version of BlackBerry 10 which brings many improved features to the software, including BlackBerry Assistant. Improvements made to the battery technology enable this smartphone to provide 22 hours of power, at least that’s what BlackBerry claims.
The BlackBerry Classic will be sold through the company’s online store and Amazon for $449 off-contract. BlackBerry has said that local carriers around the world will offer the device as well but so far no U.S. carriers have made announcements about carrying the Classic.