Critical acclaim for Seacrest's Typo increases chance of licensing deal with BlackBerry

Critical acclaim for Seacrest's Typo increases chance of licensing deal with BlackBerry
The other day, we showed you a video of television and radio star Ryan Seacrest showing off his invention, the Typo. As you probably know by now, the Typo is a snap-on QWERTY keyboard for the Apple iPhone. A brilliant idea and well executed, except for one little detail. The QWERTY looks just like the physical keyboard on the BlackBerry Q10 which has led the Canadian OEM to file a suit against the company.

In a statement announcing the suit, BlackBerry did leave the door open for the possibility of a licensing pact. The beleaguered manufacturer could use any source of revenue it can find, considering that it just wrote off more than $3 billion worth of unsold handsets gathering dust in some warehouse.

There actually is some good news for both sides here. Among the notable reviewers of the device, Walt Mossberg said that "the Typo does its job well," although he did chide the company for covering up the iPhone's home button with the case.Mossberg added that BlackBerry addicts he knows (remember, he is no spring chicken) loved the Typo.
Others reviewing the portable QWERTY also complained about losing access to the home button, and some said that Siri kept going off by accident(and if Siri sounds like your Mother-In-Law, it could drive you crazy). While there was a sour note raised by one reviewer about the $99 price, for the most part it seems like the Typo is here to stay.

Will there be copycats? You betcha. And those who are right now gearing up to produce Typo knockoffs will certainly not use the same design for the QWERTY. But as the original, Typo has some advantages. Besides, the Ryan Seacrest connection is surely worth a ton of money. All he needs to do is show it off on American Idol ("Sorry folks, I was just texting Simon")and the orders will come.

Instead of suing Typo, this would be a great time for BlackBerry to embrace the product. What is that saying? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. New BlackBerry CEO John Chen has been talking about monetizing everything at BlackBerry, so why not sit down with Typo and bring in some moola. Every Apple iPhone 5 and Apple iPhone 5s sold is a potential Typo customer. With the right licensing deal, BlackBerry could be making money from a hot handset for the first time in years.

source: Re/Code, Bloomberg, CNET via BGR

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