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Blackberry news round-up: Classic for Christmas, Meetings and more

A busy week for BlackBerry, as the Canadian company reveals a new Meetings conference call service, announces that its new Classic phone will land by Christmas and even helps Samsung to sort out security.

It’s fair to say that things haven’t been plain sailing for BlackBerry in a long time; the weirdly-square new Passport handset was met with very mixed reactions and then there was lots of publicity surrounding BlackBerry Messenger being used for nefarious purposes. Never one to lie down and die, however, the Canadian company has had a busy week, spreading its security expertise to mobile competitors, announcing the release date of the Q20 Classic handset and even launching a new conference call service called Meetings.

During a conference in San Fransisco this week, BlackBerry announced that it was going to be lending its substantial expertise in the field of enterprise security to Samsung, to help the company to make more of an impact with its Knox security software. John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, confirmed that the company would be adding its BES12 encryption to Samsung Knox, offering better data security to its devices and hopefully appealing to business users who need to ensure safety for their information.

Not to rest on its laurels, BlackBerry has also announced that its newest device, the Q20 Classic, will begin shipping in the US this week, just in time for the festive season. The company’s official blog stated: “The highly anticipated device is a familiar form factor with a QWERTY keyboard, navigation keys, a trackpad and the upgraded power and performance of BlackBerry 10. We’ve incorporated these familiar features because you asked for them.”

Blackberry has advised, however, that the device will be released in limited quantities, so anyone who’s desperate to get their hands on one should plan to get in there early or be prepared for a fight.

Finally, the company has also announced ‘BlackBerry Meetings’, a conference call version of BBM aimed at business users. The company appears to be refocussing its plans on enterprise customers and the service, which will cost around £8 per month, will be available across Android, Mac OSX, Windows Phone and of course BlackBerry 10. The service will offer voice and video conference calls, as well as group text and presentation sharing – useful stuff all round.


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