BlackBerry has launched a significant device in the BlackBerry Classic, an update to the popular Bold 9900.
At the launch event, BlackBerry confirmed that it would be revealing its future roadmap at Mobile World Congress 2015, so you can expect to see a refreshed device line-up announced in early March.
John Sims, president global enterprise services at BlackBerry, told us after the event that BlackBerry expected to break even on cashflow soon, and that 2015 was about "getting back on the growth curve."
The Classic might be the darling of enterprise, a dependable workhorse for those putting communication and productivity first, but BlackBerry isn't ignoring the consumer appeal.
Sims told that an important part of its market was the "professional consumer", those individuals or small organisations that had a choice about what device they used.
Taking to the stage at the launch in Frankfurt, BlackBerry acknowledged that some had left BlackBerry, but were keen to point out how the Classic would be able to win back customers who had left - highlighting three main areas.
These are the things that BlackBerry think will win you back from your "iPhones and other slabs of glass."
1. Nostalgic navigation
If you owned a BlackBerry in the glory days, you'll know exactly where you are with the BlackBerry Classic, so there's nothing to learn. You get the touchscreen, the keyboard and the tool belt of controls, making it easy to do everything, just as you did in 2011.
The return of the optical navikey means you can easily highlight text and block select things, something that touchscreens aren't especially good at.
2. Sneaky keyboard
BlackBerry believes that the physical keyboard and the way it is designed, makes it more versatile than touch devices. The idea that BlackBerry used to illustrate this was sending a sneaky reply under the table, presumably to seal a business deal, rather than a booty call.
The sculpting of the keys and the frets, combined with the positive feedback is the culmination of 10 years' of keyboard experience. This, says BlackBerry, means you can type without having to look at what you're doing.
3. The browser is so much better than it was
BlackBerry knows that when it came to browsing, the wheels fell off a few years ago. Skipping through the internet on iOS or Android was a pleasure, while older BlackBerrys just didn't deliver.
That's all changed in BB 10.3.1 (that the Classic launches on) which BlackBerry claims is one of the fastest mobile browsers out there. Increasing screen size means you have more space to see what you're doing too.
Are you convinced?
BlackBerry set forth its argument and while that might stand up for Bold users, we can't help feeling that the advantages of a touch-only device are being slightly ignored. Namely, that you can remove the keyboard and enjoy a lot more screen space.
Of course BlackBerry still offers a great integrated messaging hub and there's a strength in security, which is likely to be one of its most appealing features.
Will you be returning to BlackBerry? Let us know in the comments below.
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