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BlackBerry Tries to Bring Back a Classic

But will it be enough to please Kim Kardashian?

Asa Mathat

A couple decades ago, Coca-Cola tried to reinvent itself with a new formula only to find customers liked the old formula better.

It was a costly flop, but the company brought back the old formula as Coca-Cola Classic, and New Coke was quickly scrapped.

BlackBerry is attempting a bit of the same with its upcoming Classic model, which keeps the company’s latest software, but brings back the small size, physical keyboard and trackpad from the popular BlackBerry Bold.

“It’s tempting in a rapidly changing, rapidly growing mobile market to change for the sake of change — to mimic what’s trendy and match the industry-standard, kitchen-sink approach of trying to be all things to all people,” CEO John Chen said in an open letter.

“But there’s also something to be said for the classic adage: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.'”

But of course, BlackBerry has to deal with a very different competitive dynamic than Coke did. While the beverage giant aimed to recover from its self-inflicted wounds, it didn’t also have to contend with rapid advances from Pepsi and 7UP.

That said, even in a world dominated by iPhones and Androids, there are still plenty of people carrying older BlackBerrys, often in addition to another smartphone. Many are stock brokers and politicians, but even Kim Kardashian West noted at Code/Mobile this week that she buys old BlackBerry models on eBay to make sure she has a steady supply.

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