BlackBerry to focus on high-end QWERTY devices and not touchscreens in the future

Last week, it was misinterpreted that John Chen is putting BlackBerry's smartphone business on the market and the CEO had to clarify that this isn't going to happen "anytime soon". Although the troubled company made ends meet and cut down the losses significantly during the last fiscal quarter, it's still far from being back on its feet. However, CEO John Chen and John Sims, the company's president for global enterprise services, yet again made it clear that BlackBerry would continue to produce mobile phones in the future, but this time it would focus on what enterprise customers wanted – high-end smartphones with QWERTY keyboards.

This matches up with the claims that the CEO made roughly a fortnight ago in a video interview with CBC. Apparently, most of BlackBerry's enterprise customers did not fancy the company's recent touchscreen smartphones and demanded that John Chen and his employees treat them with more old-school, keyboard-sporting smartphones.

Interestingly, Chen confessed that he also favored QWERTY smartphones and told a funny joke that explained his preference. Allegedly, Chen was texting a colleague with his touchscreen BlackBerry and the auto correct feature of the device modified "in the car" to "in the cat"

So, what does this mean? Simply put, you should expect the majority of future BlackBerry devices to look more like this unreleased handset and not like this beautiful concept.

source: PCMag via BerryReview



16. profperez1

Posts: 76; Member since: May 08, 2012

I can't really think about BB or Windows. They lack basic APPS that I need. How can you not have a AMEX app MS!

14. Bedz81

Posts: 84; Member since: Dec 30, 2012

I miss the form factor of my Moto Droid/Milestone, If there was a model with a 5" screen with side slide out QWERTY, i would take it in a flash!

15. tokuzumi

Posts: 2029; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

This would be the preferable form factor for a qwerty device (landscape qwerty, not a portrait qwerty). A 5" screen would be a little big for a qwerty device. Maybe a Moto X sized footprint, with a qwerty would be awesome. It would obviously be thicker, but the length and width would be near perfect.

13. tenzin

Posts: 111; Member since: Dec 20, 2013

He lives in 2007 maybe but most people prefer full touch screen devices .that's a trend huge screen low price . I am glad that I am again with android and abandoned blackberry. RIP bb nice modern os but bad leaders u had .Bye!

12. Andrewtst

Posts: 697; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

From dying soon to immediate dead. Bye bye BlackBerry, R.I.P

11. SleekGeek

Posts: 17; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

I think this is a good idea. By focusing on what their main market wants(BlackBerry's main market being enterprise, governments and security), BlackBerry can begin to make a profit again so that they can then devote cash to other things. I think that a lot of people here believe that in order for BlackBerry to survive, they must be focusing on the consumer market, and that is not the case. By BlackBerry focusing on what they are strong at(governments, Enterprise and security)BlackBerry can not only survive, but prosper. Governments and enterprises buy in bulk, and therefore spend lots more than the average consumer. For the clientele that chooses to use another operating system as opposed to BlackBerry, they can still make a profit off of them by using MDM. It is true that the bulk of enterprises do prefer a qwerty keyboard. BlackBerry is making the right decision by going this route. What people viewing BlackBerry from the outside looking in need to do is change their thought process about BlackBerry. By this I mean that they need to stop thinking of BlackBerry as competing with Android and iOS on a consumer level. For the most part, they'll be doing this on the "prosumer" level, where they have always had the advantage. By going back to their roots(i.e.-focusing on qwerty keyboard devices for their high end range and market them towards enterprise)BlackBerry can increase revenue and then focus on making a high end touchscreen device for the consumer. They can also release the same high end qwerty handsets designated for enterprise in the consumer market for those of us who still like to use hardware keyboards, such as myself.

8. express77 unregistered

touch phone with side slide keyboard will be good. but put concentration in full touch phone cause thats the most people want. increase low and mid range phones with proper price and proper marketing.

9. MobileGuru

Posts: 82; Member since: Jan 18, 2014

You mean blackberry torch?

5. cncrim

Posts: 1590; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

BB qwerty didnt work for you last 5years maybe 6 it will not work now. Today Touchscreen keyboard is very so good ..... now it is media age. Good luck! BB will need a lot of it.

7. PressStart

Posts: 119; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

It didn't work for me because I have not used one . By the time I started using smart phones, iPhones (my first smart phone - iPhone 4) were more popular than BBs. I still miss using a physical keyboard. Maybe that's why I still use my laptop and have not purchased a tablet. f**k tablets.

2. drazwy

Posts: 378; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

Nope. Keep throwing ideas at the wall. One will stick eventually.

3. PressStart

Posts: 119; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

I'd like a qwerty with a touchscreen. The concept BB would be awesome to have. After three years of using a touch keyboard, I realize that I really do prefer a physical keyboard.

1. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

The whole ecosystem that has been made with smartphones today is not for QWERTY high end phones.Most of the teens/young adults prefer big touchscreens.QWERTY is now used in low end phones.Very few people would choose a QWERTY phone over a phone with a big,high resolution display,which has Swype/SwiftKey,that make it way easier to type fast without mistakes or at least put the mistakes to a minimum.It's just not going to work that way.Today I barely see a BB phone.It's so rare.QWERTY is fading and the way I see it is that the feature will be used on low end phones in the future.I can't imagine there being a high end phone with a QWERTY keyboard that sacrifices the screen.

4. bestmvno

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

I think you are missing the point, as they are speaking to the older crowd, the one that grew up on qwerty keyboards and pda's. Blackberry has lacked focus, and they need focus to survive. Perhaps a smaller portfolio tailored to a specific market will help? I have concerns though that doing it this way will limit their growth and will developers even bother? At least they will be releasing some sort of touchscreen devices. Does blackberry have any swype/swiftkey like capabilities? Do they offer voice typing? Perhaps if they focused on those efforts and advertising them they could ween the older crowd off of their qwerty fixation.

6. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

If it's for the older crowd then no problem,but that will just keep them afloat for a few more years.If they want to improve and increase their sales they shouldn't be targeting the older generations.Maybe their whole point is to stay afloat but I'm not sure that's what they want.

10. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I agree with both of you. Blackberry really stay around longer than expected needs to focus on the younger folks. At the same time.....they might can stay around longer by going back to whats worked best for them.. The thing about Blackberry is corporations, businesses....if they start shifting away from BB even more....that will be the beginning of the end for them. Surviving in security, software might be their best bet if they cant do phones anymore.

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