BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is expected to launch its Class smartphone sometime in November this year. Classic has looks like a mashup of Bold 9900 and Q10. It will have a 3.5-inch display and BB10 OS. John Chen said it will be designed for reliability and durability, and will be crafted from premium materials. Classic brings back the Canadian company’s much hailed hardware navigation keys (menu, send, back and end) and an optical trackpad button.
Drake is a dedicated BlackBerry user
TechCrunch reported yesterday that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is currently in talks with Toronto native and rapper Drake to promote Classic. The website went on to say that Drake is a dedicated user of BlackBerry Bold, which could be correct as the rapper has been spotted using the Bold 9900. It said that Drake would promote the device by claiming that he was involved in the design process of Classic.
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But BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has rubbished those reports. A company spokesperson told MobileSyrup that the report it’s true, “We can confirm that we are not in conversations with Drake.” The ailing smartphone maker has tried something similar in the past. Its previous CEO Thorsten Heins had appointed Alicia Keys as the company’s Global Creative Director in 2013. But BlackBerry parted ways with the singer earlier this year after some publicity failures.
BlackBerry Q1 results beat expectations
Earlier this week, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) pre-announced its new device Passport. Chief executive John Chen called it the “world’s largest phone or the world’s smallest phablet.” The Waterloo-based company surprised the markets yesterday by reporting a small quarterly profit. The company reported $23 million in first quarter profits, though revenues plunged from $3.07 billion to $966 million.
Better than expected quarterly results sent the stock up by more than 10% on Thursday. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) shares gained another 4% on Friday to $9.45. It indicates that John Chen’s turnaround plan is working, and he might succeed in transforming BlackBerry. Chen has slashed thousands of jobs, sold real estate assets and outsourced smartphone manufacturing.