BlackBerry has had a reputation of being a mobile phone for business owners, becoming a huge sensation as their RIM 950 allowed business people the ability to access their email wirelessly, and type in responses thanks to their touchable and clickable QWERTY keyboard on the phone itself. The company has not had a significant market share in the past few years, but BlackBerry is going back to basics as they have launched the BlackBerry Classic.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen was present at the Classic's launch event, which was held in New York City's financial district. Chen stated that "a lot of people say the Classic is aiming for loyal customers. And that is true." Chen's honesty shows that is intended target audience are those who have used BlackBerry devices in the past, and he encouraged "people who are young" to try the latest product.
According to SF Gate, Chen has a goal of selling 10 million phones a year. This is not too big of a goal compared to Apple, who sold 39.3 million iPhones just in the third quarter. In order to meet what Chen believes to be a high demand, BlackBerry has partnered with Foxconn, a Taiwanese company that assembles products in Chinese factories. This is the same company that assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple.
BlackBerry presently only has a fraction of the smartphone market in the United States, in spite of having a near 50 percent share as recently as 2009. Their decline in sales was probably the result of the smartphone revolution, as users could access all kinds of applications and functions with the help of a touchscreen, which inherently shunned the idea of a physical keyboard.
As far as the specs go, the BlackBerry Classic has a 3.5 inch touchscreen, which is quite small compared to its smartphone competitors. Inside is a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM 8960 SoC as well as 2GB of RAM. It also has 16 GB of internal storage, and it can be expandable to 128 GB.
A recent hands-on review from Digital Trends shows that the BlackBerry Classic is very good for business, particularly for those who have to answer hundreds of emails per day. They did say that as far as watching You Tube videos, this might not be the phone for you.
The price for the BlackBerry Classic is about $449 (factory unlocked), and it is available as of Wednesday, December 17, 2015 on Amazon as well as the Blackberry website. It is intended to come to AT&T and Verizon.