BlackBerry Classic Launch Plans
NEW YORK — BlackBerry is coming to Manhattan on Dec. 17 to launch its BlackBerry Classis smartphone, a productivity-first smartphone that combines the latest BlackBerry touchscreen 10.3.1 OS with the old Black- Berry Bold’s optical track pad, physical QWERTY keyboard, menu and back buttons, and dedicated answer/hang-up phone buttons.
The phone, promoted as “a new smartphone that builds upon the extremely successful and iconic BlackBerry heritage,” is already available on BlackBerry’s site for preorder at $449 unlocked, but the site mentions only a few features and a general expected availability date of mid- December and some key features. During the event, the company will reveal a ship date and additional product details.
The phone is promoted as being “designed from the ground up to meet the needs of productive people who appreciate the speed and accuracy that can only be found with a physical QWERTY keyboard,” the company said.
Nokia Re-Enters Device Market
ESPOO, FINLAND — Nokia re-entered the CE market, although indirectly, with an Android tablet following the sale this year of the company’s mobile business to Microsoft.
The company, which previously sold Windows Phone smartphones and a Windows RT tablet, unveiled its first Android tablet, a 7.9-inch Android 5.0 Lollipop model that will be manufactured, marketed, distributed and sold by an OEM partner through a brand-licensing agreement. It will be available in the first quarter at an estimated $249 in China before rolling out to other unnamed markets.
In addition to licensing the Nokia brand, Nokia is licensing the industrial design, Z Launcher user interface, and IP on a running royalty basis to the OEM partner, which is responsible for “full business execution, from engineering and sales to customer care, including liabilities and warranty costs, inbound IP and software licensing and contractual agreements with third parties,” Nokia said.
Sprint Expands iPhone Leasing
OVERLAND PARK, KAN. – Sprint unveiled a third leasing option for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, adding a 30-month option to the current 12- and 24-month leases to reduce monthly payments by anywhere from $2 to $6.
Under the leasing program, consumers can continue leasing their unsubsidized iPhone on a month-tomonth basis after the original lease expires. Subscribers can also choose to buy the device, return it to lease or purchase a different device.