With huge market share lost to Android and iOS phones, BlackBerry is devising ways and means to prevent the brand from going into extinction. Top on its agenda is winning back the old customers the company has lost to iOS and Android.
At the company’s shareholders meeting on Thursday CEO, John Chen, announced it will soon hit the market with the BlackBerry Classic and the BlackBerry Passport.
The Classic looks like a classic BlackBerry, complete with not only a physical keyboard but also a trackpad and dedicated function keys that were missing from the more recent BlackBerry Q10 QWERTY smartphone.
The Passport, on the other hand, is a much bigger device that nonetheless features a physical keyboard and that has a much wider display than any other BlackBerry phone in recent memory. Like the Q10, this device ditches the trackpad and function keys but makes up for that by offering a bigger display.
The targeted release date for the Passport is September and it will come in both black and white. As for the overall design, Chen stated that “when you first see the phone, people said it is the world’s smallest phablet or the world largest phone… This has a phone with a very interesting aspect ratio with 1:1 aspect ratio. You can read 60 characters across the screen… this makes it a lot easier to read documents and is 453 dpi.”
Previous reports indicated that the Passport would come with a 4.5-inch 1440×1440 pixel display, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB RAM, a 13MP camera, 2MP front-facing camera, and a non-removable 3450 mAh battery.
As for the BlackBerry Classic, which is coming in November, Chen stated that this BB10 smartphone has “a little larger screen than the Bold 9900.” The BlackBerry Classic will be “crafted from premium materials and designed for reliability and durability.”
It has a 3.5-inch touchscreen and brings back the iconic navigation keys (menu, back, send, end) and trackpad of the legacy BlackBerry product line.