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BlackBerry launches slider phone 10 years too late at MWC 2015

BlackBerry's chief executive John Chen has said the mobile maker will play to its strengths instead of trying to conform to the current market, and it looks like one of the strengths is nostalgia.

After launching the Classic last year to please old fans, BlackBerry has now gone way back in time to the slide-phone at Mobile World Congress, reminding us of the Torch and Nokia 6800 series.

It goes against BlackBerry’s previous statements that it would focus on software (opens in new tab) throughout 2015, instead re-launching two older iconic products.

BlackBerry has not given a name to the flip-phone yet, claiming it is just a prototype. Interestingly, the prototype uses a dual-curved display, similar to the Galaxy S6 Edge.

The keyboard is classic BlackBerry QWERTY and slides out at the user’s convenience. It will run on the BB 10.3.1, the latest version of BlackBerry homemade OS.

It was not the only device announced at MWC 2015, the BlackBerry Leap was also introduced at the conference, featuring a full touchscreen display.

BlackBerry is clearly trying to tap into old-time customers, but the big question is can slide-phones and classic reworks of old favorites make it a profitable business.

The Canadian mobile giant has partnered with Google for ‘Android at Work’ and made plans to branch out its security profile to Android and iOS in the near future, making sure its high demand for software can fuel the overbearing costs of its failing hardware division.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.