SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The newly unveiled BlackBerry Classic features a keyboard that hearkens back to the old days of cell phones, but they may have missed the boat on marketing this to the masses.

It’s a little like ‘Back To The Future’. The new BlackBerry has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, which is very small by today’s standards, but in addition they include their trademark keyboard with 40 keys. It’s very much in line with the traditional product we’ve all come to know.

The phone comes with 16 GB of storage and an 8 megapixel camera, which CNET says is “okay”. In addition, the manufacturer claims you’ll enjoy up to 22 hours of battery life, which is really good if it turns out to be true.

There really are some die-hard BlackBerry users out there who will appreciate this. They just love keyboards and don’t like touchscreens, so I think it’s a no-brainer that they’ll go for this. It’s pretty much the phone that they’ve been waiting for.

I should note it does run some, but not all Android apps, which can be downloaded from the Amazon appstore. Compared to the iPhone and to some of the Android phones that are out there I’m afraid that the majority of people have moved on.

If this had come out shortly after the original iPhone, I would have bought it. I was among the many that had trouble adjusting to touchscreen when they first came out. Now it’s hard for me to imagine going back to a physical keyboard.

BlackBerry has really tried over the last year to revitalize its business and to change its plan by getting into services and they even have a great messaging app, but I don’t think it’s going to be a dominant force as an operating system. It will continue to have a niche and may survive, but I don’t think Apple and the Androids have much to fear when it comes to BlackBerry.

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