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BlackBerry Classic, formerly the BlackBerry Q20, headed for release this November says John Chen

BlackBerry Classic, formerly the BlackBerry Q20, headed for release this November says John Chen
Formerly called the BlackBerry Q20, the BlackBerry Classic has already been announced by CEO John Chen in Barcelona during MWC in February. What makes this phone special is some of the "old school" features that Chen is putting back on the phone. More on those in a minute. In USA Today, Chen was interviewed by long time stockmarket journalist Maria Bartiromo and mentioned that the BlackBerry Classic will offer a zippy browser (which ironically has become a trademark of the new BlackBerry 10), multimedia capabilities, a QWERTY keyboard and a "good touchscreen".

While Chen mentioned that the device was an enhanced version of the BlackBerry Bold, he failed to repeat some of the throwback features that make the BlackBerry Classic, well, uh, classic. For example, this handset will have a touch pad, giving users the ability to navigate the device with something other than their finger on the 3.5 inch touchscreen. It will also feature function keys that have long been removed, never to be seen on newer BlackBerry models. The battery life is expected to be the longest on any BlackBerry phone.

BlackBerry CEO Chen said in the interview, that this phone will come out in November at the same time that BES12 will be released. Made for the MDM market, BES12 will allow a company to manage a fleet of smartphones, even if some are iOS, Android or Windows Phone models.

While this all sounds like good news on the surface, the main question is whether BlackBerry fans wanting a new handset will have the will power to wait until November for the BlackBerry Classic. After all, there will be a number of new Android and Windows Phone handsets available. And yes, even the Apple iPhone 6 will be tempting the BlackBerry fan, well before November. When Chen talks about a six month wait for a new model that the company is counting on to turn things around at Waterloo, it is bound to make even the most die hard BlackBerry fan do his best Scooby Doo imitation and say Ruh Roh.

With the success that John Chen has had before at Sybase, perhaps he should receive the benefit of the doubt. He does have a financial plan in place, one that calls for BlackBerry to be showing positive operating cash flow at the end of this fiscal year. Within the fiscal year after that, he sees the company back in the black. Overall, he calls this a six-to-eight quarter journey. Right now, the sharp drop in BlackBerry's market share isn't bothering him, because the company has a higher share in enterprise, and that is where BlackBerry will focus its smartphone business until that becomes profitable, At that point, he will move back into the consumer space.

Chen considers BlackBerry the number one provider of tech security in mobile and wireless. He also talks in the interview about monetizing BBM. A lot of what he said to Bartiromo, were answers that we have heard before from him since he took over the CEO role at BlackBerry late last year.

source: USAToday

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