In an open letter to current and former BlackBerry users, John Chen (pictured), the firm’s chief executive, extolled what he believed were similar qualities in the upcoming Classic device to ones that made the Bold model so popular in the past.
“It’s tempting in a rapidly changing, rapidly growing mobile market to change for the sake of change – to mimic what’s trendy and match the industry-standard, kitchen-sink approach of trying to be all things to all people,” he wrote.
“Sure, we’ve got new BlackBerry devices that break the mould, including the BlackBerry Passport,” he added, “but we also recognise that a lot of you continue to hang on to your Bold devices because they get the job done, day in and day out – just like you.”
The Classic (pictured, left) bears many similarities to the company’s Bold smartphone, but comes with a complete top row of navigation keys and a track-pad. It is expected to be available in December.
“It’s the device that has always felt right in your hands and always felt right in your busy day,” maintained the BlackBerry CEO.
Claims of game-changing industry innovation, argued Chen, are often overplayed. “You don’t reinvent yourself every day; you take what you learned yesterday and sharpen it today,” he said. “You drive change – often on your terms, but sometimes not. That you keep going regardless is what distinguishes you as a grown-up. You’re in it for the long haul.”
Chen has engineered something of a recovery at BlackBerry, but he desperately needs more device sales to add sparkle to a brand that has lost much of its lustre. His open letter demonstrates the urgency.