The BlackBerry Classic is an explicit appeal to nostalgia

BlackBerry officially launched the BlackBerry Classic at an event in New York’s financial district on Wednesday. It’s the first new BlackBerry device since 2011 to actually resemble what most people think of when they think “BlackBerry”: A QWERTY keyboard-equipped phone with physical navigation keys, including a touch trackpad.


Obviously, the BlackBerry Classic is a niche device — no matter how many celebrities claim they can’t live without theirs. BlackBerry spent a lot of time comparing the Classic to the Bold 9900, which came out in 2011. That’s the target audience for the Classic — companies that issue BlackBerries to their employees because of security reasons and are still hanging on to aging Bolds (running BlackBerry’s previous operating system.)

Because many people upgrading to the BlackBerry Classic are coming from years-old devices, the specs aren’t paramount, but they still pack a few nice upgrades. The Classic has a 720×720-pixel, 3.5-inch touchscreen and an 8 MP camera on the back. It will be able to tap into speedy LTE networks and it’s powered by a Qualcomm chip. The specs are generally inferior to those of the Blackberry Passport, the company’s new flagship device, which has an unusual square body.

In the United States, both AT&T and[company]Verizon[/company] have said they’ll carry the BlackBerry Classic, but the carriers haven’t offered details on when or how much it will cost. You can buy an unlocked BlackBerry Classic that works on [company]AT&T[/company]and [company]T-Mobile[/company] for $449 from BlackBerry World.

BlackBerry 10.3.1 is a pretty big upgrade from the operating system on the Bold 9900. It’s optimized for touch, has a modern browser, and, perhaps most importantly, it can run Android apps from the Amazon Appstore as well as native BlackBerry apps from BlackBerry World.

In the middle of the launch presentation, [company]BlackBerry[/company] discussed Brickbreaker, a game on the Classic that was notoriously pre-installed on all BlackBerrys during the company’s glory years. It was an appeal to former BlackBerry users who remember killing hours playing the Breakout clone, which takes advantage of the Classic’s new (and old) trackpad. But you don’t see Nokia or Microsoft talking about Snake when launching a new Lumia. Perhaps appealing to nostalgia is not the best way to get traction in the fast-moving mobile world.

For Blackberry, the lucky number 7?

Research In Motion has become the favorite whipping boy of one and all, for multitude of reasons. Nevertheless, the new Blackberry OS 7.0 gives the company a shot at staying relevant in the near term and fight it out for the third spot with others.

BlackBerry Bold-ly gambles with high-cost handsets

Research In Motion’s new flagship phone, the BlackBerry Bold 9900, is commanding flagship prices in stores: Subsidized costs range from $249 to $299 with a two-year contract and after all applicable rebates. At these prices, and without the next-generation QNX platform, can RIM grow sales?

New OS 7 phones won’t help BlackBerry’s turnaround

Research In Motion announced five new BlackBerry 7 handsets, which will start to arrive in stores by the end of this month. BlackBerry faithful will be happy, but the handsets still represent a transition for the company, which will use QNX software to power newer phones.

RIM Refreshes BlackBerry Bold, Pearl Handsets

Research In Motion introduces two slight refreshes today in the Bold 9650 and Pearl 3G. Incremental upgrades are always welcome, but they’re not enough to fend off other maturing smartphone challengers. Research In Motion needs to get moving on its new BlackBerry operating system.

Despite iPhone’s Success, BlackBerry Curve Was on Top in Q2

blackberrycurve8900 In the battle of the smartphones, RIM’s (s rim) Blackberry Curve edged out the competition to take the top spot as the best-selling smartphone model in the U.S. in the second quarter of this year, according to inaugural smartphone market share data from research firm IDC. Apple’s iPhone 3G S took second place, with the iPhone 3G placing fourth.
With its hard QWERTY keyboard and big screen, the Curve (a longtime favorite of Om’s) has stood the test of time and beat out higher-end competitors such as Apple’s (s appl) iPhone, Palm’s (s palm) Pre and T-Mobile’s G1. Read More about Despite iPhone’s Success, BlackBerry Curve Was on Top in Q2

The iPhone and the Ensuing Wireless Broadband Boom

I have been saying for some time that the launch of the 3G iPhone was going to jump-start the demand for wireless broadband. The subsequent release of additional web-friendly mobile phones (we like to call them superphones ) — the Samsung Instinct, the BlackBerry (s rimm) Bold, the Google (s goog) Phone, and Sony (s sne) Ericsson’s Xperia X-1 — that use 3G wireless networks has now shifted that demand into high gear. [digg=] Read More about The iPhone and the Ensuing Wireless Broadband Boom

Review: Blackberry Bold is Beautiful

Today I got my hands on the much-delayed BlackBerry Bold that was launched on the AT&T network in the U.S. After less than an hour it was clear to me that this might just be the best BlackBerry on the market — and a must-buy for folks who can’t live without a physical QWERTY keyboard.