Blackberry is returning to its roots with a new handset featuring the familiar Blackberry Bold shape, physical keyboard, top row of navigation keys and trackpad.
The firm has tried, with only limited success, to claw back marketshare from Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms by launching large, touch screen handsets.
In an email to “loyal (current and former) BlackBerry users,” CEO John Chen acknowledged that many customers “continue to hang on to your Bold devices because they get the job done, day in and day out – just like you.”
To meet their needs, Chen said the firm would release a new handset, the BlackBerry Classic.
He added: “Innovation is a word that gets used too often and carelessly. Innovation is not about blowing up what works to make something new – it’s about taking what works and making it better. In that sense, BlackBerry Classic represents the kind of innovation BlackBerry – and you – strive toward every day.
“You don’t reinvent yourself every day; you take what you learned yesterday and sharpen it today. You drive change – often on your terms, but sometimes not. That you keep going regardless is what distinguishes you as a grown-up. You’re in it for the long haul.
“So is BlackBerry. The things you remember about BlackBerry that made you better are better than ever with BlackBerry Classic. BlackBerry Classic is for you, as is everything we do every day.
“We are committed to earning your business – or earning it back, if that’s the case. In the weeks ahead, BlackBerry will be sharing more details about Classic that we think you’ll like. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit BlackBerry.com/Classic to see for yourself why BlackBerry Classic is aptly named.”