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

Related phones

  • Display 3.5 inches
    720 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2515 mAh
  • OS BlackBerry 10.3



17. TMD64

Posts: 1; Member since: May 07, 2014

How naive and just plain ignorant for people to write off BlackBerry after the company has owned the market with the best OS, most efficient, most secure, best built, most professional communication device for the better part of 15 years. Not to even mention that the enterprise/business benefits of BlackBerry vastly exceed those offered by their current competitiors. And for many, the iPhone is a toy device popular with kids and teenagers in the U.S, but not abroad...only Samsung competes with BlackBerry in this arena. The previous poster 'apiskula' is absolutely clueless.

14. apiskula

Posts: 578; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

Blackberry you are not relevant anymore and nobody cares.

16. thealphageek1

Posts: 942; Member since: Feb 02, 2013

@Phonearena: how do you continually let apiskula troll BlackBerry articles, with no "punishment" handed down to him? This is not right. His comments on this article should be deleted immediately, as they have absolutely nothing to do with this article. Apiskula: you really need to get a life, dude.

10. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

"On the other hand, I am going to focus very much on the enterprise space. If you look at the enterprise users of smartphone, we have a much bigger share. That's not to say I gave up on the consumer market." Woah, this dude is twisted mind. Everyone knows that BB gave up consumer market already. Looks like BB has winning tactic, they make customers to wait 6 months for enchanted version of ancient phone that once were popular... Tracking pad and function keys at 2014... yeah sure :) RIM = RIP BB = RIP in less than a year Amen

11. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

They are selling pretty well in poor countries where texting is the main use rather than calling or internet. Keyboards make allot of since in that situation. We will see if it is enough to help them stay alive. In the mean time they are investing heavily in security related technology.

12. thealphageek1

Posts: 942; Member since: Feb 02, 2013

"That dude" is the person that runs the company. If he says that they didn't give up on the consumer market, I'd pretty much take it as gospel if I were you. And they have a winning strategy: focus on enterprise and governments to build profits. Focus on BBM, eBBM, MDM, BES, etc. Build those up to create further profit. Still keep one foot in the consumer market until such a time that they have further secured their dominance in enterprise and security, and then focus more on the consumer market. It's a sound strategy. Even Wall Street and analyst agree that it is. It's also evident in their most recent reporting of their earnings. Things are getting better for them. Let's you and I revisit this space "less than a year" when BlackBerry is still here and stronger than before. I'd like to see what you have to say then.

15. apiskula

Posts: 578; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

Totally agree

9. SleekGeek

Posts: 17; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

Those of us who are BlackBerry faithful, diehard keyboard fans(myself included)will wait for this handset. With the recent updates to the BB10 OS that has come out, it's almost as if you are using a new phone, save the hardware. Most(if not all)BlackBerry faithful have no interest in using another OS, and will therefore wait for the "Classic". Besides, better that BlackBerry take its time and make this phone the absolute best it can be, as opposed to releasing a phone too soon and incur the wrath of so many that already criticize BlackBerry. Besides, I'm sure BlackBerry has another handset in the works(besides the Z3)that will be released before then.

8. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

My favorite phone in its day was BB Bold 9000. I have owned many Androids and a WP since then. My current daily use phone is a Sony Xperia Z Ultra. I own a Z10 but if I have to use a touch screen it is too small. I have been tempted to buy a Q10 but I wanted to know the company would be around to support it. If I could buy this Classic in a month or two there is a good chance that I would. But by November I may not be interested. If I could get a Z30 for AT&T I might buy that but no luck so far. Dealing with BlackBerry now is like dating a woman that you know and really like but she never seems to be available when you want to see her.

7. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3200; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

BlackBerry is in no position to rush a phone to market. Everything they release has to be spot-on if they hope to stay alive. Those of you who are putting off upgrades or are thinking of trying something else, go ahead. Nothing in Mr. Chen's statement mentions any carriers picking up the device. Matter of fact, he already told T-Mobile to f**k off and die.

5. myco1

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 03, 2014

Msa1988 you are right I don't know why, they haven't learn from their past mistake when it took them ages to realease bb10 software, all the new CEO does is talk more nothing to show for it. I kinda delayed my upgrade just to see what they got but I can see is nothing.

6. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

I've been due for an upgrade since June of last year and there isn't anything I think is worth upgrading to. I don't use my phone a whole lot so I was excited to go back to BB but I might pass just due to the fact that it's taking them so long (again)

4. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

Blah. Why does it take BB so long to release phones? I really want to go back but I'm just tired of waiting. Looks like I'll be taking my business elsewhere.

2. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Still waiting for the full touch high end phone

3. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Exactly. I know a lot of the base likes QWERTY phones, but they need a high-end touchscreen model to really show BB10's potential.

1. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

:-/ Man. If Blackberry phones ran a skinned version of Android with Play Store compatibility I totally would have bought a Q10. I remember the Touchscreen Portrait Qwerty so fondly from the Palm Pixi days.

13. verty

Posts: 132; Member since: May 07, 2012

Why do you want another andriod OS. Please give us a break. A taste of something new and different and nice too. I love the bb10 software. It really a nice operating system. The user experience far exceeds ios. So leave bb10 alone and stop suggesting some dumb unnecessary iteration.

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