We now have a better idea of when BlackBerry will launch the BlackBerry Classic. Speaking to USA Today earlier this week, company CEO John Chen revealed that the smartphone formerly known as the BlackBerry Q20 will launch sometime in November:
It’s an updated and enhanced version of one of our most popular and successful products called the Bold. It will include a keyboard and a good touch-screen, very fast Internet, Web-browsing capability and multimedia capability. But also it will be very productive and very secure. So, all the familiar things that people love, with some new technology updated. That will come out in November.
No new specific details about the BlackBerry Classic were revealed during the interview. First announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, we know that it will come with BlackBerry 10, a 3.5-inch touchscreen, a large battery and will “be crafted from premium materials and designed for reliability and durability.” It will also bring back the classic function keys, ‘Menu,’ ‘Back,’ ‘Send’ and ‘End,’ and trackpad found on earlier devices.
Carrier and pricing details were not revealed today. We can expect those to be revealed closer to the launch.
Chen also reiterated that he has no plans to sell BlackBerry’s handset business: “Well, I don’t expect to sell the business at all, the handset business. I actually do expect to make money out of it.” He recognized that BlackBerry needed to not only increase sales volumes in order to turn a profit but he needed to streamline the design process and supply chain to improve margins. BlackBerry’s partnership with Foxconn (which will manufacture the BlackBerry Classic) was certainly part of that exercise.
Chen also gave hints that a new version of BES will launch around the same time.