BlackBerry returns to QWERTY keypad with Passport, Classic

BlackBerry will launch two devices- Passport and Classic, that will have the QWERTY keyboard as its USP.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Updated: August 31, 2014 5:54 pm
blackberry passport The unique BlackBerry Passport will offer a 4.5-inch square full HD screen with with a touch-enabled keyboard. (Source: http://www.crackberry.com)

Faced with the onslaught of cheap Android phones, BlackBerry is turning back to its core, the popular QWERTY keypad. In the coming months, BlackBerry will launch in India the Passport and Classic, two devices that will have the QWERTY keyboard as its USP.

“QWERTY has been one of our strong suits, keeping with the consumer trend and demand, we will continue to launch devices based on QWERTY. There remains a large portion of the user base that are loyal to the QWERTY experience,” said  Sameer Bhatia, Director, Distribution at BlackBerry India.

The unique BlackBerry Passport will offer a 4.5-inch square full HD screen with with a touch-enabled keyboard. “You will be able to navigate web pages, apps and e-mails by lightly brushing your fingers over the keys, which helps with things like scrolling and cursor placement,” he said, addig that the keyboard will also support custom commands.

The BlackBerry Classic, meanwhile, will bring back the trackpad and function keys to BlackBerry 10 devices. It will be second device to come out of the Foxconn partnership and could have an affordable price tag.

“We believe that our devices need to stay in step with the times while ensuring to provide die-hard BlackBerry users with the comfort of a keypad as well,” said Bhatia.

However, BlackBerry is unlikely to shift to an online only approach like some of the new entrants in the market. “We believe that both traditional retail formats outlets and online platforms are complementary strategies that brands need to harness to ensure complete consumer access and reach,” he said.

Bhatia said it is imperative to look at OMNI channel presence and leverage both traditional as well as new age formats to reach out to consumers across segments. “Recently with the launch of the new BlackBerry Z3 we partnered with both The Mobile Store and Flipkart to offer consumers an exciting pre-launch offer. The offer was very well received by the consumers, proving that both brick & mortar and online formats have become an integral part of a brand’s retail strategy.”

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  1. Y
    Yasmin
    Sep 15, 2014 at 5:09 am
    Great news yes, but am crossing my fingers too, so that it may fall within my budget :-/
    Reply
    1. I
      IqaluitZen
      Aug 31, 2014 at 10:31 am
      I'm getting the Pport the day they go on for sure!It comes with Blackberry 10.3 OS which means it also comes with Amazon's App store (250,000 android apps native to Blackberry now).
      Reply
      1. A
        A. C
        Aug 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm
        This maybe the the most antited BlackBerry of all for the time period. There is disruption coming. Cheers Chen and company.
        Reply
        1. C
          Chan
          Aug 30, 2014 at 1:43 am
          Gr8 news
          Reply
          1. S
            Sam Iam
            Aug 31, 2014 at 3:02 pm
            It's a brave move, pleased to see Blackberry taking some risks and innovating.
            Reply
            1. N
              naor
              Sep 1, 2014 at 7:06 pm
              I just hope the clic and pport come to the USA
              Reply
              1. N
                Nilakantha Rath
                Sep 1, 2014 at 6:16 pm
                I started with Windows phone way back since 2002 and after few years switched to BlackBerry in 2007 and after changing around 4 BlackBerry phones shifted to iPhone 4 and switched back to BlackBerry Bold. The only stickiness with Apple is the iTune player where I have my full content. I still use iPod for that. Now after moving through iPhone 4S.....5....5S and also for few months with Samsung Galaxy and Nokia Lumia again switched back to Q10. The reason of coming back to BlackBerry everytime is the Email/SMS experience with BlackBerry is totally different. The way the emails delivered, the way it's rendered and the way it sync with Microsoft Exchange is very unique than any other mobile OS. The only thing I do not like is the Black background of BlackBerry OS10. If it can be all white background like iOS it will be much better to view without straining my eyes. The Android OS has the same issue of black background
                Reply
                1. ఆలపాటి అనీష్
                  Sep 7, 2014 at 5:49 am
                  its just for 13000 in india waiting to buy
                  Reply
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