BlackBerry’s CEO wants to see a new version of the Bold 9900, an older model BlackBerry complete with the time-tested and instantly recognizable full QWERTY keyboard that helped propel BlackBerry into the hall of fame of smartphones years ago. According to recode who recently spoke with CEO John Chen, the leader of the once-famed device maker which now focuses solely on software for its licensed handsets powered by Android but built by TCL, Chen thinks that there might be a need for a device that is focused on secure email and messages and a basic browser, like the BlackBerry devices that the company used to make.
Chen was quick to point out that he would like to see a new BlackBerry-like device but also that BlackBerry wouldn’t be the company to build the handset. Chen further noted that the BlackBerry Bold 9900 “fits right in the palm of your hand” and that he thinks someone should make a device like it. While Chen doesn’t state that there is already a company in mind to take on this task or that there is a device like the Bold 9900 already in the works, he does reportedly state that he thinks he should “find someone” to make such a smartphone which may suggest that Chen plans to seek out a licensing partner to build a new BlackBerry-style phone similar to the Bold.
It goes without saying that Chen’s belief that the world may have need or desire for a more basic smartphone like the Bold 9900 does not necessarily mean the phone will be built, and although Chen does mention that he would “never say never” in regards to a new BlackBerry-like phone similar to the Bold 9900, he also highlights that BlackBerry’s strategy of handling just the software side of things works well for the forseeable future. Chen also theorizes the possible price points that such a device might cost, stating that you can build a really nice phone for around $150-$200 so long as the devie is limited in functionality and focuses on being high-quality and secure.