For a long time, BlackBerry tried to compete with Apple’s iPhone on the latter’s terms, building a progression of touch-screen devices that never really seemed to hit with either businesses or consumers.
So now BlackBerry’s decided to retreat to the past: The new BlackBerry Classic is an unapologetic return to the form-factor that transformed the company into a mobile-device juggernaut for a few years. It features a physical QWERTY keyboard, a 3.5-inch screen, dual cameras (front and back), and a battery touted as capable of lasting a busy workday. On the software side of things, the phone runs BlackBerry 10 OS, the latest iteration of the company’s operating system.
But does anyone care?
While it’s not the sort of statistic that’s easily quantified, there is a group of people out there who continue to love the BlackBerry’s physical keyboard and battery life. (Including President Obama, who seemingly can’t leave the White House without it.) This group, however small, seems to care more about answering emails than playing games or using processor-intensive apps. Loyalists alone won’t allow BlackBerry to re-conquer the smartphone market, but they could help the company stabilize its market-share, which has tumbled dramatically over the past few years.
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