Back in 2003 Jay Z rapped “Out the country but the blueberry still connect,” on The Black Album track “Encore.” The lyric was a reference to the blue colorway of the Blackberry 7200. Hov has since moved on to a relationship with Samsung, but BlackBerry appears not to have moved on at all.
BlackBerry just announced the Classic, a model whose design will be instantly familiar to anyone who lived through the earliest part of the last decade. The biggest new (old?) feature of the Classic is a physical Qwerty keyboard with real buttons that you can push. It has a tiny 3.5-inch screen and a processor from 2012.
The device seems targeted at users who use their smartphones to write emails, play Brickbreaker, and not much else. How many of those people are out there? 14? Even your parents—and grandparents—are using touchscreen devices like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy now.
BlackBerry hopes the Classic appeals to enough of their core customers (mainly aging banking bros) to turn the struggling company’s fortunes around. To me, that seems wildly optimistic. But hey, maybe they can get Jay Z to release his next album exclusively on the device.
The BlackBerry Classic is available unlocked for $449.