It’s been a very long time, but Verizon is getting back into the BlackBerry-selling game — at least for a subset of its customers.
The company announced today that it will begin selling the BlackBerry KEY2 LE to Small Business customers later in January. The KEY2 LE is a cheaper, slightly less robust version of the KEY2, and Verizon’s model will feature 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage along with the requisite Snapdragon 636 SoC and dual camera setup.
Verizon’s history with BlackBerry devices is marred by the Storm series, which back when they were released in 2008 and 2009, were intended to compete with Apple’s iPhone, which was an AT&T exclusive at the time. When the Storm failed, mainly due to its awful SurePress screen technology, Verizon partnered with Motorola to launch the Droid, and the rest is history. While Verizon continued to release BlackBerry devices on and off over the years, it never committed to the manufacturer with the same fervor again.
Things have been very quiet from Verizon and BlackBerry for a couple of years — Verizon sold the Priv but not the KEYone (though it was eventually certified to work on Verizon’s network). Now, Verizon business customers will be able to purchase the KEY2 LE, which is also one of the few dual-SIM phones available from the carrier. Pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, but Amazon sells the unlocked KEY2 LE for $450.
See at Verizon