Can BlackBerry Classic Revive the BlackBerry?

BreakingModern — In a market full of iPhones and Galaxys, the BlackBerry seems destined to remain at the bottom. As of August 2014, the Canadian company occupied only 2.3 percent of the smartphone universe, sharing space with Microsoft’s mobile operating system, which holds 3.5 percent of the market.

blackberry classic texting

A new announcement by the wireless device maker could breathe new life into the company’s products. After consistently changing its design over the past few years, the company recently rolled out BlackBerry Classic, bringing back the classic navigation keys and physical keyboard loyal customers miss. The change has little to do with nostalgia and almost everything to do with reaching customers who prefer a simple, straightforward cell phone interface.

Remaining Competitive

Even though the BlackBerry Classic brings the speed and reliability of the BlackBerry 10 web browser to the traditional design, it’s unlikely to lure users away from iOS or Android. It will, however, cater to the business customer who prefers a device that keeps employees on track. While games and web surfing are possible on a BlackBerry, it is designed primarily for checking email and making phone calls. This reduces some of the many distractions today’s workers face.

When BlackBerry debuted, it created a market that didn’t readily exist at the time. Professionals quickly became addicted to the subtle hum of the device throughout the day. Users were tethered to their devices, constantly checking and responding to email throughout the day. The physical keyboard remains a favorite for those who find screen-based keyboards difficult to use.

Modern Conveniences

BlackBerry Classic’s limitations will likely attract large enterprises and government agencies, which operate primarily in a traditional office environment. Those same limitations are more likely to repel smaller business users, who have grown accustomed to the many conveniences of today’s popular smartphones. For instance, an iOS device owner can store boarding passes, travel itineraries and business applications on a smartphone, allowing him to travel without having to bring paperwork along.

Advancements in mobile payments are likely to continue to draw users to more high-tech devices. The apps needed to conduct operations such as ordering at Starbucks and converting those orders to payment will require a more sophisticated, user-friendly device. However, many BlackBerry users carry separate devices for professional and personal use. For those consumers, the simplicity of BlackBerry Classic will be a win.

blackberry classic on the phone

A Return to a Favorite

Some original BlackBerry users have reported a familiar feeling as they tried out the BlackBerry Classic. Interestingly, though, they muse over the market changes that have occurred in the years since BlackBerry ruled cell phone store shelves. Tools like BlackBerry Messenger — once used throughout businesses — have been replaced by newer apps that work across multiple platforms. For this reason, adoption of BlackBerry Classic will likely be limited to enterprises that already have BlackBerry operating systems as the norm.

For professionals who preferred the simplicity of the original BlackBerry design, the new BlackBerry Classic will likely provide a nice walk down memory lane. However, the landscape has changed so much in recent years, it’s doubtful whether BlackBerry can provide much competition for the two smartphone market dominators, iOS and Android.

For BMod, I’m .

Featured/First Image Credit: © Peterfactors / Dollar Photo Club

Second Image Credit: © Yanik Chauvin / Dollar Photo Club

Stephanie Faris

Author: Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris is the Simon & Schuster author of two middle grade novels, 25 Roses and 30 Days of No Gossip, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan chapter book series. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she worked in information systems for 13 years. Her work is regularly featured on a wide variety of blogs and websites, both under her own name and as a ghostwriter. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Neil.

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