Is there a future for a BlackBerry device with a physical QWERTY keyboard
This brings us to the question: Is there a future for a BlackBerry device with a physical QWERTY keyboard? You've probably heard BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins repeat again and again that BlackBerry has a very loyal following, which demands the full, physical QWERTY experience, but it seems that if BlackBerry continues to serve its small and loyal following, it will be destined to remain a small, niche player. However, choosing not to serve its following would of course be quite risky, because there isn't any guarantee that its full touch phones will gain the needed traction in order to keep the big, Canadian ship afloat. That is why the company is now trying to satisfy the needs of both its loyal fanbase and all the customers out there who just want a device with a large touchscreen.
Whether BlackBerry will be successful in this game remains to be seen, but at least from our standpoint, it's extremely easy to say that there's little to no interest in the BlackBerry Q10, at least compared to the new Android or iOS handsets. So, is it worth it for BB to go trough the trouble of producing such handsets? Maybe yes in the short term, while there are still enough QWERTY lovers out there, but it doesn't take a genius to know that this market will soon become so small that BB will be forced to put all of its effort into making full touchscreen smartphones. However, we aren't sure if it won't be a better move to just get rid of the QWERTY and start working on a serious, promising touchscreen product. The Z10 is OK, it closed a big part of the gap between BlackBerry and all the other smartphone manufacturers, but it's nowhere near what the company needs in order to seriously compete with Android and iOS.
Let us hear what you think, guys. Should BlackBerry continue pumping those QWERTY phones into the pipeline, or that form-factor is now a thing of the past?
52. sid07desai (Posts: 288; Member since: 03 May 2012)
"It's not about the keyboard. It's about sending a message".
11. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3135; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
I don't think it is...or it will, as long as the hardware within is top-notch.
However, i think there should be one more option for us like:
"Yes, qwerty will exist at a rate".
I didn't vote cause i'm "none of the above".
18. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
I don't have anything against people who loves physical keyboards, I just state my opinion and my opinion is that physical keyboards will die and we already can see that happening for a few years. Today physical keyboard is becoming even more and more rare case.
63. miles16852 (Posts: 227; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)
its not rare, your just not looking! theres more then you think!
39. MC1123 (Posts: 1254; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
oh no! a lot of people still is a typer not a tapper!
especially me! i hate misspelling on virtual keyboard and its really a bothersome! while on physical QWERTY, not a problem!
but i do like the swype on symbian (or android) though and that virtual keyboard of Z10 is just amazing!
62. miles16852 (Posts: 227; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)
YOUR THINKING IS DEAD! its far from dead, you would be surprised,,,
3. wendygarett (unregistered)
Funny, I remember five years back android fans criticize iPhone that lack of choice and show off their qwerty phone, and now they say qwerty is dead? I smell double standard :)
back to the serious side, I love android in the beginning because of variety of choice... I prefer full touch but I love oem release qwerty :)
bb10 lack of customization, the only beauty of choice to them is the qwerty :)
8. wendygarett (unregistered)
Btw, wanna full touch? No physical button allowed...
wanna physical button? Make it qwerty...
no more only one physical home button to me this year :(
16. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 341; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
Key point in what you said - "five years back". Five years ago soft keyboard solutions were still in their infancy. And five years back, phones with resistive touch screens were still common. FFwd to today, screens are capacitive, and soft keyboard solutions have become much more sophisticated. It's not a double standard - it's progress.
64. miles16852 (Posts: 227; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)
Yep! more people being killed while texting,,wasnt a big problem like it is today, gee theres even a 'no texting while walking now' ill let you figure out what state thats in...people doing dumber things while texting, etc, etc, YEP! thats progress all right!
20. N.Reynolds (Posts: 257; Member since: 15 Feb 2011)
Well now that Android phones have grown in screen size I don't see a need for a physical keyboard. With my OG Droid I loved my keyboard but when I moved up to a larger screen I didn't mind not having it. With the lovely 3.5 inch or even the 4 inch screen on iPhones I would still want a physical keyboard but with a 4.5"+ screen the need isn't there.
35. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Because SwiftKey didn't exist then :D
37. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)
Not to be offensive in any way... but
Its like you(wendy) have some sort of "multiple personality dissorder". One day, you might be perfectly rational, reasonable, and considering(ie. now), and some days, well you turn into "apple-slave-mode" (remember how 1080p screens cause eye cancer? lol )
4. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)
Both models have way too much bezel but then again even the RAZR M has too much bottom bezel for being called "edge to edge display"
I rather have a slide out QWERTY keyboard like the droid models
5. cdgoin (Posts: 374; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)
YES ! Some of us can not stand touch screens we need buttons. And the portrait keyboard ASHA series from Nokia is VERY popular in europe/asia/africa, as are BB QWERTY phones. Just because some don't use it doesn't mean others don't want it. The DVP was an awesome design (and is better with 7.8), one that was poorly marketed, and not sold in stores, etc.. due to Dells incompetence. So sorry.. but its Not dead.. its dead to US consumers.. and the makers of the phones that want to keep the price down (QWERTYs cost more to develop). But its not dead, to say so shows how uninformed of the world market you really are.
36. saiki4116 (Posts: 374; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)
portrait qwerty slide out saves space as well as one hand typing and no compromise in screen real estate..A Dell Venue pro type with dual core and android is always I wanted...
6. Techsplash (Posts: 41; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
its nowhere near.really?why only two options
7. wendygarett (unregistered)
Ray S love to make a flamebait poll :)
9. cdgoin (Posts: 374; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)
The article is about as biased as they get.. I would not doubt it if he was a iPhone user that never looked at anything but the high end slab form factor phones.
I want a BB that is like the Dell Venue Pro, even better a new Windows 8 Phone.
15. snowgator (Posts: 3345; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
At some point, I will start looking at authors and just not pay any attention to what Ray S writes. I have a lot of respect with the other authors here, and they actually write fun/thought provoking articles that remind me why I come back. Ray S? Seems to hate most everything. (Find a positive Windows Phone article from him. Dare ya.)
And a portrait slider for WP, or any other OS for that matter??? Count me in. Love that form factor.
10. biophone (Posts: 1900; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Qwerty phones have become niche products and are going to stay that way. I didn't like the poll options because it is nether thriving or dead. Its getting by would be more accurate.
12. ahhxd717 (Posts: 325; Member since: 08 Dec 2011)
I think it'll have a place if BB10 is successful. I don't mind touch keyboards but I know some friends (who don't know much about tech) who say they want physical keyboards. And maybe some older business people who like physical keyboards. Still I think its a niche feature. And I hope BB10 does well. More options always good.
27. cdgoin (Posts: 374; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)
Possibly Niche, but if you go to LGs site you will see a large number of Landscape sliders. I mainly see landscapes being used by teens though.
The portrait slider, I know it seems counter intuitive, even though it has small keys. Is easier to use for those with big hands. My thumb is so big I often hit the wrong character on screen. But with a portrait slider I feel the buttons, and they quickly slide under my thumb and quickly I may add.
I find it 2x as fast and easier to use than a landscape slider, and 5x faster than on the screen keyboard.
It maybe a niche, but its a big one.. Why WP8 doesnt have one yet is beyond me.. they want the business class, and business users are used too and in some cases (like me) prefer the portrait keyboard.
14. snowgator (Posts: 3345; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
There is now, and will always be, a large enough segment of qwerty users to support physical keyboards. BlackBerry is smart to recognize this, and also recognize that the Curve/Bold/Torch (portrait sliders, of course) crowd wants this option from BB right now. It would be the height of stupidity to not offer their core users a qwerty option.
But, full touch screens are the rage. Multi-media users want larger screens, and they are the bulk of premium smartphone buyers. BlackBerry was also smart to push the Z10 over the Q10. Q10 buyers are theirs. It is the Z10 audience they need to convince.
19. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)
There's still many people that prefer having a physical keyboard... It will die eventually.
65. miles16852 (Posts: 227; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)
It wont die, just like a manual transmission, even tho most car buyers tend to go for automatic transmissions, there are still those who will always want a manual transmission, same for the physical keyboard,
21. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 880; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)
I personally believe there's still a place for a physical QWERTY BB, many still enjoy using a proper physical keyboard on their phones and i often hear people moan about the lack of physical QWERTY driven phones with GS2/GS3 type specs.
22. depeche (Posts: 62; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)
Options are alway good for customer especially now that Blackberry is down to two devices. They have always developed a premium keyboard feel; I think that will continue to attract.
Blackberry 10 has started, hope they can roll out updates and patches to their customers desires. MORE OPTIONS ALWAYS GOOD!
on a side not: if google and apple could release a competive keyboard; would this be a relavant question?
23. remyrz (Posts: 193; Member since: 28 Oct 2010)
BB users are so used to Qwerty keyboards, they prefer keeping it that wat
24. EspHack (Posts: 70; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)
depends what type of qwerty, the blackberry kind i hate it, small screen and small useless keyboard, but the nokia n97 or e7 kind of qwerty is awesome, there should be a qwerty slidntilt option for every great flasgship like the lumia 920 or galaxy s3
25. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5664; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
just why would we want to kill off QWERTY's? why? what's the point? people still want them.
26. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
No one wants to kill QWERTY's, QWERTY's dies because of natural evolution, because today majority prefers Touch Screens. And that's mean manufacturers don't feel a need to manufacture smartphones with a Physical QWERTY Keyboards, it doesn't worth from business perspective.
28. cdgoin (Posts: 374; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)
No many don't.. touch screens for people with small hands is great. My fingers are the size of small sausages.. and the screen needs to be a LOT larger to accommodate my fingers, or at least more accurate as to what I touch. With a portrait slider, I can type without looking at the keys or the screen.
Sooner or later a rectangle will nto work for everyone anymore and manufacturers will do something to make their phones different.
I want the HTC Trophy that was leaked before the Verizon one. It had a 4.5" case, slightly smaller touch screen with a portrait Qwerty setup underneath it.
That is what I am waiting on.
32. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
I understand, in your case typing with physical QWERTY keyboard would be more comfortable.
43. jroc74 (Posts: 5245; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
My hands, fingers are called fat by a few ppl. I dont see it...lol.
I dont think a virtual keyboard is great for ppl with small hands...I think its like you said....a physical keyboard is great for ppl with fat fingers, hands.
I think a virtual keyboard is great for ppl with normal size hands.
You said it....lol. Just not directly.
34. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5664; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
you just contradicted yourself pal. OEM's are killing off QWERTY's because they don't feel that it's worth it. i think a lot of people would beg to differ. QWERTY phones haven't been given much of a chance lately. i'd take a Droid 5 with a 4.5" display and i'd even step down from the Razr MAXX HD's battery longevity to have a good keyboard again.
44. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
"you just contradicted yourself pal."
No, you just contradicted yourself.
"OEM's are killing off QWERTY's because they don't feel that it's worth it."
And why they don't feel that it's worth it?
Because majority people sticked with Touch Screen Keyboards!
46. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5664; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
um no, you actually did. you just defended your contradiction.
"No one wants to kill QWERTY's" and "OEM's are killing off QWERTY's because they don't feel that it's worth it. And why they don't feel that it's worth it?
Because majority people sticked with Touch Screen Keyboards!" are clear contradictory statements.
only because there are no real high-end QWERTY phones anymore. there has been no real attempt since the Droid 5 to preserve high-end QWERTY keyboard phones.
54. snowgator (Posts: 3345; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
You know I am with you, King. I am so ready for a keyboard again. I am not misreable without one, I would just be way freaking happier with one.
Motorola is the only Manufacturer keeping the dream alive. The Photon Q and Droid 4 are both decent devices. All other keyboards are entry level smartphones.
56. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
"No one wants to kill QWERTY's..."
By saying that I was responding to your comment #25 and I was talking about the simple people not about manufacturers.
"only because there are no real high-end QWERTY phones anymore. there has been no real attempt since the Droid 5 to preserve high-end QWERTY keyboard phones."
QWERTY is dying not because manufacturers doesn't manufacture high-end QWERTY phones anymore, but because majority of people prefers Touch Screens instead of QWERTY's and only then as result manufacturers are not focusing on manufacturing high-end smartphones with a QWERTY keyboards because it doesn't worth from business perspective.
In simple words, no one kills or wants to kill QWERTY, QWERTY are dying because majority of people doesn't feel a need for it and manufacturers before manufacturing something always makes analisis about people's needs.
58. cdgoin (Posts: 374; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)
Again.. WRONG.. I can not count the number of people that want to buy my Dell Venue Pro.. but when I tell them the only place to buy it is eBay, they pass. Dell screwed up the sales and distribution so bad its not funny. at minimum they should have sold them at Best Buy after they were left at the alter by T-Mobile and AT&T.
Phones simply don't sell well in the US unless they are physically in the telcoms store.
BTW.. look at T-mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.. they all offer QWERTY phones, in candy bar and landscape slider. 33 of them according to PA.
So they apparently sale.. otherwise why have 33 varieties of them. For some reason you just want to prove yourself right.. that or have a hatred of QWERTY phones.. Either reason is stupid.
69. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
What U.S. carriers has to do with what I have said about QWERTY keyboards???
60. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5664; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i wasn't just talking about the people originally. i was talking about anyone including OEM's that would have a hand in retiring QWERTY handsets.
how would you know that? sounds like a chicken or the egg situation to me. i'm sure there's plenty of people including me that would get a Q10 over a Z10 if they decided to get a Blackberry. even the statistic being done right here from this very article shows QWERTY devices still have a place in this world and someone needs to step up and provide a good, high-end QWERTY device.
66. miles16852 (Posts: 227; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)
your so called perspective needs an adjustment, because your wrong!
29. downphoenix (Posts: 2586; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
Depends on if a) Blackberry does like all the other manufacturers and makes some crappy entry level handset with poor specs and puts in a qwerty or b) they do like the q10 and make it a high end phone, where the only thing that's not high end about it is the screen size. If a, kill off the qwerty. If b, I say it still would serve purpose for a lot of people, so keep up.
42. jroc74 (Posts: 5245; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
The thing about that...if one really wants and cares about a physical keyboard.....it not being a high end phone isnt gonna matter.
Ppl makes cchoices that dont necessarily have to cover all the bases. I stick by Moto....and their phones are considered not having high enough specs when they are released now. Think I care? Whats most important to me has lil to do with ram or gpu or screen. Even tho I said I want Moto to make the Moto X a phone I wanna buy at retail...I will probably still buy it just because Moto has never let me down.
Some ppl chose a high end all screen phone over a lower end physical keyboard phone....and are happy.
47. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5664; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
there's no reason for there to not be high-end keyboard phones. there's no reason for the people to not have their cake and eat it too.
57. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
"there's no reason for there to not be high-end keyboard phones."
Yes, there is, majority of peoples ar not interested in QWERTY's.
61. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5664; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
says who? certainly not the study being done from this article.
71. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
Do you ever think why today there is more Touch Screen phones than QWERTY's ?
Do you ever think why manufacturers are not focusing on QWERTY's ?
Answer: Because they know that QWERTY won't be popular! They always makes analisis about people's needs.before starting any big project or manufacturing something!
73. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5664; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
OEM's know strictly touch screen phones are more popular than QWERTY phone because of the success of devices like the iPhone and the Galaxy S series but that doesn't mean QWERTY phones are UN-popular, on the contrary there is apparently a lot of people hungry for a good one.