BlackBerry to return in 2015 with the Classic

BlackBerry’s grip on the business smartphone market has more or less loosened to the point of barely being held, but the company doesn’t want to be forgotten and will have a nod to customers coming next year.

If you’ve ever owned a BlackBerry smartphone, there’s a chance you still hold a spot in your heart for the phone.

Back before the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android ever broke the light of day, BlackBerry came up with something that could let people latch onto email and taking it with them where ever they went.

Those were the days of the BlackBerry, with a phone that featured a well developed mobile keyboard and a way of cutting down on the excess information in an email, making it an efficient little way of staying on the ball.

But when the modern smartphone world kicked in, BlackBerry fell behind. With the Apple iPhone and Google Android handsets in full swing, as well as Microsoft’s Windows Phone, BlackBerry couldn’t keep up, and even though it enjoyed a reappearance last year, BlackBerry has gone from being a top player to a struggling manufacturer.

At least it’s not going down without a fight.

Next year, BlackBerry has promised a new handset is coming, with the “Classic” heading to Australian mobile stores in early 2015 on Telstra, while New Zealanders should see it on Vodafone.

The handset takes the look and design of the BlackBerry Bold 9900, but ads a bigger screen, better battery, and makes the insides a little more modern, with a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD slot, and a square screen measuring 3.5 inches and running 720×720.

The typical BlackBerry keyboard is here too, backlit even, as is an optical trackpad, and version 10 of BlackBerry’s operating system.

“We listened closely to our customers’ feedback to ensure we are delivering the technologies to power them through their day – and that feedback led directly to the development of BlackBerry Classic,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry.

“This device underscores our commitment to helping BlackBerry users be at their most productive and respond to the demands of business from anywhere, at any time. By bringing back the trusted functionalities, incorporating our latest operating system and building a speedier browser, our users can feel confident they are using the best communications tool out there.”

While we’re keen to see what BlackBerry has in store for the world, we will admit that we’re a little unsure on this one, as the spec will, upon release, likely be a little lower end than some of the flagship phones it competes against today.

That said, it could be a fantastic phone, and we have confirmed that Australians will get to see it, with the BlackBerry Classic heading to our shores early into 2015, with Telstra taking the reigns.

As for pricing and availability, we know neither at this point, but can imagine we’ll hear something either February or March, hopefully just before Mobile World Congress rocks up.