BlackBerry just announced the Classic, a phone that looks warped into 2014 via 2009. While by all rights it appears to be solid QWERTY solution in a non-QWERTY world, it’s hilarious that the company announced their latest and greatest on the eve of what could be the opening of the Cuban embargo and, more important, massive upheaval in one of Blackberry’s major markets, Russia and Central Europe.
But BlackBerry hasn’t caught many breaks in a long while. The Passport was greeted with jeers – Joanna Stern at the WSJ was particularly piquant – and I doubt anyone can name new devices since the ill-fated Playbook. In short, Blackberry has been on a treadmill. They’ve been getting leaner, to be sure, but they haven’t been getting anywhere.
All is not lost just because they launched their new phone on during times of great geopolitical tumult. The holidays are fast approaching and there the 2015 fiscal year could open up new avenues for fleet purchases of the Classic. BlackBerry is also considered a popular business phone overseas. Both Blackberry and Apple are considered luxury devices, aimed at folks with a little more cash and a little more cachet. And let us not forget the scores of professionals with a Blackberry for work email and an iPhone for play, a sort of technological mullet.
I have long said that BB is doomed but this, coupled with a bright new CEO, could bring them out of their death spiral. Not they just have to see about that .05% market share. And hope that Cuba is looking for cool new smartphones.
Image via Engadget.