BlackBerry CEO Chen: Most of our new phones will feature a physical QWERTY keyboard

BlackBerry CEO Chen: Most of our new phones will feature a physical QWERTY keyboard
Former BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins tried to eliminate the BlackBerry physical QWERTY when he made the all-touch BlackBerry Z10 the first phone released last year to be powered by the new BlackBerry 10 platform. That didn't work out so well for Heins or BlackBerry. The latter is still writing off BlackBerry Z10 inventory and the former is without his old job (although he is $22 million richer).

When word leaked that the first phone to be designed and produced by contract manufacturer Foxconn, under a five year deal with BlackBerry, was to be another all-touch BB10 model codenamed Jakarta, it was deja vu. But need not fear BlackBerry fans. New CEO John Chen said Monday at CES, "I personally love the keyboards." He added that future BlackBerry models will "predominantly" be handsets that offer a physical QWERTY keyboard.

In a display of legal force that demonstrates the importance of the iconic BlackBerry keyboard to the future of the company, Chen's firm is suing Typo, the producer of a snap-on QWERTY for the Apple iPhone. The problem isn't so much with the utility of the device, but with its design. Whomever designed the keyboard made it look like the one on the BlackBerry Q10, right down to the frets.

With a new found focus on the enterprise and government agencies, the QWERTY keyboard becomes important once again to BlackBerry. Businessmen and government-lifers are usually more interested in typing using a physical keyboard than the average consumer is. The company will produce at lest two models this year with the Foxconn produced Jakarta coming in at under $200. A high-end model with a physical QWERTY keyboard will be aimed at the U.S. and be designed in-house.

source: Bloomberg

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17 Comments

1. Extradite

Posts: 316; Member since: Dec 30, 2013

Well BB are good when it comes to providing specs: they will be using last years specs..... No wonder it's not selling..

2. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

They just want to follow their traditions, which is not too ancient by today standards. They need to follow the competition and make something innovative.

3. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

I mean "too old by today standards".

5. mturby unregistered

If the keep following their tradittions, will end up loosing the $10 dls they have on their stocks.

7. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

that wouldnt be a problem if they were sold at this year's prices for those specs instead of last year's.

16. sianto

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 11, 2013

Indeed it won't, but you can also get a Z10 for 200 bucks, so maybe it's a better idea to ship the millions from the warehouse to these countries!

4. mturby unregistered

Thats why Blackberry failed. Keep making the same phone over and over.

11. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I think their failure is a bit more nuanced than making the same phone over-and-over. First, they ignored the iPhone. Then they ignored Android. When they finally woke up their market share had evaporated, and they panicked. Now, they have kind of got only one last chance. Financial pressure has a way of focusing ones attention. Keyboard offering is presently the only differentiator for BB. A messaging platform is about the only game they can play where they have even a prayer of surviving. Too bad BBOS10 is such a dog to try to learn. There is a reason why BB sold more BBOS7 handsets than BBOS10 ones last year.

6. Paximos

Posts: 282; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

the whole company is fraud, give me my money bastards, I returned the phones.

10. Extradite

Posts: 316; Member since: Dec 30, 2013

Lmfao....

12. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

LOL...what?

8. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

Well, I'm from Indonesia. I'm curious of what RIM will make at < $200. BB Q5 is insanely priced. Moto G & other cheap phones with good spec will come here. Can RIM survive? I hope RIM success here. There are still many people here who love physical qwerty phone

9. MarkArigayo

Posts: 240; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Yeah, put the 2011 specs on next BB device and priced not less than G2 or Note 3. The government of Republic of Indonesia surely will acquire this company.

13. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Hey...servers aren't free, kid...eat the cost when you buy the phone, Bonzo.

15. ialex123

Posts: 21; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Nice and recently i came across the news from gadgetride.com , Blackberry India cuts the price of QWERTY type Blackberry device Q5

17. shihte

Posts: 61; Member since: Sep 02, 2013

physical QWERTY keyboard is pastness.only couple people need it,most people prefer full touch huge screen,that´s trendy!otherwise bb10 is brilliant os I made switch from android which is much quicker and easier to use,my opinion is to make 5 touch ones to one with keyboard

18. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

In the past I said BB needs to focus on what they do best....one of those was QWERTY. Well....after reading this: http://www.phonearena.com/news/BlackBerry-Z10-is-the-BlackBerry-10-model-most-in-use_id50954 This might be their biggest problem.....not paying attention what whats right under their nose.

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