If you’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of the BlackBerry Classic, the new smartphone that aims to combine the new BlackBerry 10 software with the old BlackBerry Bold design, I’ve got some good news for you.
The BlackBerry Classic is now available for pre-order from BlackBerry’s online store. In the U.S., you’ll pay $449 for a GSM unlocked Classic that’s got support for LTE bands 1/2/4/5/7/13/17/25 and HSPA bands 1/2/4/5/6. Meanwhile, U.K. consumers will pay £349.00 including VAT for a Classic that supports LTE bands 1/2/3/5/7/8/20 and HSPA bands 1/2/5/6/8.
BlackBerry’s online store says that the Classic will begin shipping in “mid-December 2014.” That’s a bit vague, but today BlackBerry CEO John Chen revealed that his company will hold a BlackBerry Classic launch event on December 17. The event will take place in New York City, Frankfurt and Singapore.
BlackBerry held a Passport launch event in late September and then began sales of the device that same day, so it’s possible that December 17 will indeed be the day that the Classic begins going out to customers. That’s exciting news because the Classic combines well-known BlackBerry features like its tool belt of navigation buttons, an optical trackpad and a physical keyboard with the new BlackBerry 10.3 software. What will be interesting is how consumers respond to this combination of new and old and if it’s enough to draw old-school BlackBerry users back into the fold.