Who is BlackBerry Targeting With the BlackBerry Classic?

BlackBerry has begun selling the BlackBerry Classic, a phone that looks an awful lot like the BlackBerries we knew and loved in 2009.

There's a physical keyboard, navigation buttons and a trackpad. That leaves you with a 3.5-inch 720×720 screen. Nobody who already left Blackberry for an iPhone, Android or Windows phone would possibly be interested in the Classic, so I'm guessing the target market for this device are the very few still using a BlackBerry Bold.

blackberry

Is that enough to save BlackBerry?


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Comments (16 - click here to join in!)

Bing

Bingo. They're targeting BlackBerry faithful who have old phones.

Anyone who has left is gone for good, so they're just trying to stop the bleeding.

December 18, 2014 @ 1:53 PM

Irv

I know a few guys who are hard core BB adherents. I think it's the physical keyboard that is the real sales point for them. I get it too. You can type pretty fast on one of those things.

In the hopes that someone from Blackberry is reading this:

Please consider creating a secure Blackberry ecosystem A system that not only allows complete device management but absolute security (phone calls, texts, email, etc). BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is the single largest security loophole in most computer networks. Focus on security & sell it as the main feature. And, put the devices out there and let the hacking community go hard at you. Let them find your flaws & pay them for it.

Not long ago I finished a contract where I was not permitted to put my corporate email on my phone. Good in that I never got late night email but proof the "smart phone" isn't smart & isn't secure. You find a solution for that & you'll find a market. And that market is growing. Just ask SONY.

December 18, 2014 @ 2:20 PM

Al The Royal Pain

@irv

Great points!

I'm just wondering if your average smartphone user is willing to give up to sorts of features that need to be given up in order to gain that type of security. Everyone says they want security, but are they willing to put up with fewer app options or maybe even pay-only apps because app makers won't be able to mine our data on a completely secure environment.

Are they willing to give up GPS functionality? Cameras? Social media?

December 18, 2014 @ 2:59 PM

Irv

@Royal Pain Al

Security is an afterthought Al, even for serious businesses. The more disturbing fact is that often breaches are not public. I read about a South Ontario police force who allegedly had their email system hacked. I read the post from the hackers who did it & the data dump (Pastebin). No mention otherwise. Said police force now uses dual factor authentication now (as they always should have). I found a flaw in a online food ordering website for a known company. Their certificate was expired (for a long time) and allowed an easy man in the middle. I mailed them several times and got no reply. I gave it to my Director & the problem appears to be fixed.

People have a cavalier attitude toward security or they're filled with macho bravado. Oh how many executives I've heard the "you'll never get my information' only to present them a full report complete with their passwords a week later. You get this look which is a mix of terror & "oh fuck, what secrets does he know about me".

The amount of information you can gather online is frightening Al. You take one tiny tidbit of information & if you know what you're doing you can have a complete profile of a person a short time later. All acquired legally. I submitted a report on some data gathering I'd did on a murder victim. It was a detail report with addresses, locations, etc. I submitted it to the cops. They called me and first thing was 'where did you get this from". Of note is that this murder victim used a Blackberry with GPS turned on.

December 18, 2014 @ 4:14 PM

Al The Royal Pain

@Irv

Fascinating stuff. I guess you work for a security company. I'd love to learn more about that stuff.

December 18, 2014 @ 4:24 PM

Irv

I'm a concerned computer enthusiast ;-) but yes I work in the security industry. A good start is a solid "generalist" IT background & curiousity. You'd find my FB rather interesting LOL

December 18, 2014 @ 8:10 PM

felix

I just ditched my 9900 for a Moto X and I've never been happier. All I could do with my BB was check email and Twitter, browsing was next to impossible. No app support or development anymore. I do miss the keyboard though.

December 18, 2014 @ 11:20 PM

Boomer

I am a Blackberry guy and my phone is for work. So yes, its a security thing. I too love the keyboard and my Q10.

IPhones are for apps, BB is for business. I also CANNOT STAND the iTunes software.

December 19, 2014 @ 11:06 AM

Douglas

A good friend of mine is one of the largest cell phone franchisees in Canada and an expert on mobile phones and their technology. As a tech geek, he's in the right business. He has summed up the phones on the market this way for several years:

The more you want an entertainment device, and not a better phone, the more you want an iPhone.
The more you need and want security personally or for business, the more you need a BlackBerry.
Android phones fall in the middle, but essentially forget about "security" with an iPhone.

Me? I'm on my second Android phone, still using my Samsung Galaxy S3.

December 19, 2014 @ 11:24 AM

Irv

@Douglas

The weakness in the Android platform is two fold. The first is the malware/junkware added into the image put on the phone by whatever company (Samsung, etc). The second is the Google Play store. They do not screen their apps so it's anything goes. My wife recently installed a chess game on her Android & I discovered it was loaded with malware.

Apple is different. It's ecosystem is rather tight & controlled which makes security more likely. The problem with Apple Inc is they're secretive when it comes to security. You just don't know. My gut just doesn't trust Apple thought I use some of their products.

Blackberry, well it's hard to say. The new platform apparently now runs Android apps. Does that open these systems up to infection or are they immune? And little research is done on security flaws in Blackberry because the market is so small.

In short, there is little security in any smart phone.

Where Blackberry wins hands down is in the management platform. The BES had great capabilities years ago including extensive logging. It records everything including the people you call & the nicknames you give them. So, if you're using a work Blackberry, best to not call your mistress "mistress" or "hot bitch". We can read it (and we do).

December 19, 2014 @ 3:34 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Irv

People should treat app installs from Google Play the way they treat application installs in Windows. Make sure you trust the source.

So don't download chess apps from unknown companies, but go ahead and download Netflix or Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or TuneIn or MapMyRide or Whatsapp.... etc...

Just use common sense when installing apps.

December 19, 2014 @ 3:36 PM

markosaar

@Toronto Mike,

I somewhat disagree. I mean I know what you're saying, but the analogy doesn't work great.

On Windows, you have millions of sources to choose from. On Android, for 95% of users (4% Amazon, 1% 'other'), are using Google Play as the source. People assume that since the source is "Google", it's probably safe. They're not looking at the developer/publusher really, though the store does provide a lot of extra data to sift through if you want.

@Irv,

Shitware isn't as prevalent on iOS, but it does manage to make it through periodically. In a way it's more insidious because that store is so trusted.

@felix,

I don't know if it's for you, but the Swype keyboard is what convinced me to choose Android when I dumped my Blackberry. Works great with my fat fingers.

Also @Irv, re: security,

Dear lord the companies I've worked at. I wouldn't say I have a "security background", but I'm an internet citizen, know open-source and code very well. The practices I've encountered "in the real world" are mind-bogglingly awful. Common English passwords across organisations, plaintext passwords in databases with people's email addresses attached, etc.

December 20, 2014 @ 10:37 AM

Lynne

@Irv - I heard that Barack Obama had a tough time at the beginning of his presidency concerning personal use of a cellphone. The powers that be finally relented but told him to use BlackBerry for his personal stuff. That pretty well convinced me that BlackBerry is the way to go for those of us who have "security OCD". (I refuse to join Facebook and Twitter, and I obsessively run Kaspersky Pure 3.0 at full tilt on my devices). But now you tell me they are going to allow Android apps on the Classic. That might be a game changer for me. I might never own a smartphone. Those things really worry me.

December 22, 2014 @ 10:14 AM

markosaar

@Lynne,

If you're as conscientious about it as you sound, I'm not sure what you're worried about. Yeah, there are problems, but I wouldn't say they're inherently more dangerous than just using a PC or Mac on the internet.

December 22, 2014 @ 6:15 PM

Lynne

@markosaar

I know nothing about smartphone security. Can I install a customizable 3rd party firewall on a smartphone? Do such things even exist? If so, I wonder how intrusive would they be in terms of performance.

I have never picked up any malware on my PCs in over 15 years online. People may laugh at the things I do, but I can make a desktop or laptop run beautifully for 10+ years. Some people I know throw theirs out after a couple of years because they are so full of malware. As an added bonus, it's also "fun" to take them down to the C:\ prompt every so often and reinstall the operating system (or upgrade to a new one), then add all my drivers and various software from scratch. Maybe I need a life ;-)

December 22, 2014 @ 7:36 PM

markosaar

@Lynne,

I have to shut up because I honestly can't say for sure.

There does exist 'security software' but I'm under the impression it's mostly smoke & mirrors.

December 22, 2014 @ 8:14 PM

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