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On the back of the Passport‘s massive success, the company that goes by the name of BlackBerry has launched its latest business-smartphone competitor and blast from the past to the South African market — the BlackBerry Classic.
For those who regularly suffer from nostalgia, this is probably the perfect phone for you. For all intents and purposes, it’s the traditional BlackBerry formula of the late 2000s repackaged in a more modern, smarter unit.
Like the Bold 9900 (its inspiration), it boasts a full physical QWERTY keypad, something that only BlackBerry seems to believe is important nowadays, alongside a touchscreen. Additionally, users get a fresh batch of internal power too, courtesy of a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC and 2GB of RAM which should be more than enough for the BlackBerry 10 OS.
The phone features double the battery life of the Bold 9900, as claimed by BlackBerry, and the nifty ability of running Android apps on its operating system, which means apps like Tindr, etc. are all fair game.
Of course, this is going to appeal to a very niche audience but it’s interesting that the company has brought the Classic here so soon after launch. There used to be a plethora of BlackBerry devices in this country before the days the iPhone and Android devices took over and BIS, BBM and the like saw a steady decline.
The company will hope to rekindle the former BlackBerry love shown in this market. But will buyers overlook the Classic in favour of more value-for-money Android offerings? And can it revive the business orientated smartphone market it once so forcefully held? Only time will tell.
The phone is available on all major networks in South Africa, and as for the price, well it costs US$499 in the States, but no recommended retail price has been announced for South Africa as yet.
Update: Make sure you’re sitting down for this because the BlackBerry Classic will be available on prepaid for a hefty R6599. Other contract offers from the likes of MTN and Vodacom range between R369 and R1189 per month for two years, with data and extras varying between deals.
Still, it seems a bit steep doesn’t it?