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BlackBerry Announces New 'Classic' BlackBerry with QWERTY

BlackBerry may not be smartphone king anymore, but the company is still trying to worm its way back into relevancy with regular new additions to its BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones. The company hit up MWC in Barcelona this week to launch two more additions to its BlackBerry 10 portfolio.

First up is the Z3, another all-touch smartphone. Designed specifically for Indonesia, the device won't be coming to North America or Europe, but it's notable in that it's the first phone developed as part of the company's strategic partnership with Foxconn that was announced in December of last year. That partnership is a five-year deal that focuses on smartphones for Indonesia and other fast-growing markets. 

Other than it sports a 5-inch display and "long lasting battery," BlackBerry offered no information on the specifications of the device. We do know that it wins BlackBerry 10 OS 10.2.1, though. The device is expected to launch in April. 

Next we have a little something for those who just refuse to give up their keyboard, a vital aspect of BlackBerry's lasting appeal with business users. Dubbed the Q20, this device has a full QWERTY keyboard as well as classic 'Menu,' 'Back,' 'Send,' and 'End' buttons and an integrated trackpad. BlackBerry says this phone is a direct response to the demands of 'loyal business customers.' Speaking to attendees at MWC, newly appointed CEO John Chen said he's heard a lot about the love for the BlackBerry keyboard since he took his new role at the company.

"In my first 90 days on the job, I consistently heard from our ardent BlackBerry customers that the hard buttons and trackpad are an essential part of the BlackBerry QWERTY experience, that made their BlackBerry smartphone their go-to productivity tool. I want these customers to know that we heard them, and this new smartphone will be for them," Chen said.

For those wondering, yes, it has the fretted keyboard we saw with the Q10. It also has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, which is the largest display yet on a QWERTY BlackBerry smartphone. The device is coming in the second half of this year, but nothing more specific than that at this point. We'll keep you posted! We've also asked BlackBerry for more details on specs as well as some pictures of these devices. We'll update if and when we receive more information.

Check out all our Mobile World Congress 2014 coverage here!

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