BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is preparing to launch its Classic smartphone, which is takes cues from the company’s older smartphones. The company posted a short video of the Classic on Wednesday talking about the keyboard, updated hardware, web browser and app stores.
“Fast and quick” browser
The Canadian smartphone maker said in its blog post that the browser for the Classic is three times faster than the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and has the highest rating from HTML5Test.com. The Classic smartphone comes with a Reader Mode in the browser, which is a unique feature still not officially found in Android phones. The one-minute video increases the expectations of watchers and expectations for the upcoming flagship phone.
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In the video, BlackBerry provides a look at the Classic’s browser. The company asserts that the browser is “fast and quick,” and users will be able to share a website by hitting the Menu button on the Classic’s tool belt.
BlackBerry Classic coming soon
BlackBerry Classic will run on BB10 and be launched on Dec. 17, and so far, two network carriers, Rogers and Virgin Mobile, have confirmed its release. The BlackBerry Classic features a 3.5-inch display with a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera, a 2 MP camera in the front, and a 2515mAh battery. BlackBerry has started taking pre-orders for the Classic, which is priced at $449.
The Classic smartphone comes with two app stores, BlackBerry World and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s AppStore, which includes Android applications. BlackBerry World is meant for productivity, whereas Amazon’s app store will serve users’ entertainment needs.
The mix of a high-resolution, square screen and the most-sought-after hardware, the BlackBerry keyboard, compels one to think about why BlackBerry didn’t launch this phone four years ago to compete against the iPhone and Android handsets, says a report from Gigaom. Launching such a phone four years ago would have kept the company’s sales growing, and developers would still be interested in building apps for BlackBerry, believes the author of the report.
Eric Harty, a long-time BlackBerry developer and creator of the popular Pixelated game, believes that the phone’s toolbelt will not be of much use. Harty said though there are many loyal customers waiting for the Classic smartphone, all of them are going to be disheartened.