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John Chen wants to see a $150 BlackBerry Bold 9900 revival

By Jules Wang April 16, 2018, 10:53 pm

BlackBerry is not in the (money-losing) business of making phones anymore. Instead, it contracts multiple ODMs globally to spread the name and its secure, hardened version of Android.

However, CEO John Chen still has a passion for mobile. He’s been aching for phones with keyboards for a long time. And while TCL made the KEYone, he’s had one phone in particular in mind that he wants to bring back from the dead.

“You remember the 9900, the Bold? It fits right in your palm,” Chen told Kara Swisher for the “Recode Decode” podcast. “I think somebody should make that.”

You can listen to the full episode by clicking through to the source link below this story.

The executive sees demand for “a phone that is very simple and just focused on secure email, secure texts and a basic browser” for professionals in highly sensitive fields like legal, medical and government industries. In a spurt of spontaneity, Chen said that he should probably get in contact with an ODM.

“I’m making this up as I go: let’s say $199 or $150 a phone. You could make it a very nice phone if you had very limited functionality, but it’s highly secure.”

Imagine the Bold 9900 redux: a very affordable yet modern work phone for those who need more security than the average person. Perhaps BlackBerry should actually talk to someone about that.

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