BlackBerry has lost most of its once dominant market share (in the U.S.) arguably because it has refused for so long to change and adapt to the way modern touchscreen smartphones were being built.
In its decline, the company has decided that instead of fighting from a position of retreat against other touchscreen smartphones, it would aggressively push what once made BlackBerry phones iconic -- their design, solid build, and of course, physical QWERTY keyboard, all now made to work with the modern and advanced BlackBerry 10 operating system.
"BlackBerry Classic," which the company has just announced, is currently the best incarnation of this philosophy. According to BlackBerry, many of its customers have asked the company to provide them with a phone that comes with hardware which represents the BlackBerry phone the most, but with the power of the BlackBerry 10 OS.
The BlackBerry Classic is clearly targeted mainly at professional workers who are still very fond of their old BlackBerrys but want a more contemporary device that has access to many third party apps and a good browser. BlackBerry still has nowhere the kind of access to apps that Android and iOS platforms do, but it does work with both BlackBerry apps and Android apps that have been purposefully repackaged for BlackBerry by their developers.
BlackBerry has recently adopted the Amazon App Store as well, which gives users access to another 200,000 Android apps by default. The deal seems like a good move for both BlackBerry, which now gets more apps for its phones, but also Amazon, which now gets to have a wider market for its developers. Amazon has failed with its own Fire Phone, and only its tablets have been moderately successful. With BlackBerrys, Amazon gets access to a non-negligible number of phones that its third-party developers can support as well.
The new BlackBerry Classic supports the FD-LTE and HSPA+ bands, but it will not work with any CDMA networks (including Verizon, Sprint and US Cellullar). The company doesn't have an exact shipping date for the device, but it said the phone should start shipping around mid-December with an unsubsidized price of $450.