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

Posted: , by Alan F.

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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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posted on 14 Jan 2014, 13:58

1. Sesameopen (Posts: 109; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)

Blackberry's going this low :/ Still loving my 9930 though

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 14:17

2. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)

Blackberry should make phone like this. Physical keyboard+fullsized touchscreen. But then Typo would propably sue them :\

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 15:16

5. Kriksis (Posts: 93; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)

You mean something like the pretty old Sony Ericson P910


It was a touchscreen smartphone with hinged QWERTY keypad, that you could fold down to have a bigger screen...

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 16:09

8. JC557 (Posts: 1794; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)

That was my first "smartphone." I remember buying one and not needing a real data plan but the thing was sluggish on the old T-Mobile 2G GPRS network.

That phone has a resistive touch screen and worked best using a stylus. I wonder if Sony will ever have it make a comeback as that was a pretty nice phone and data plans are no longer the super expensive add-on as they once were (more than $50 a month).

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 23:45

12. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)

Kriksis: Something like that. Think about Z10 and it with Q10 keyboard. That kind of.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 14:23 1

3. c.django (Posts: 13; Member since: 09 Jan 2014)

ugly stupid idea.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 15:10

4. alextheZowner (Posts: 33; Member since: 01 Jan 2014)

BlackBerry don't do it after those fruit boy find out you did all this they will not buy that thing just think about it you will get more money if you sue in the long run nobody is going to want this if they now it comes from BlackBerry but if it comes from apple they will.bust nuts over getting their hands on one of these so just go on with you lawsuit win it and be the only ones with such an awesome keyboard

posted on 15 Jan 2014, 12:33

13. TBomb (Posts: 847; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)

unfortunately, thats true

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 15:17

6. iami67 (Posts: 321; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Already been done. This article claims its the first but Ive seen this for the iphone since the 4 has been out. Most slide down this is just permant which means phone will be to big.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 18:46

9. jellmoo (Posts: 2035; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

Too big compared to what? The Typo is 14.2cm tall. The iPhone 5s is 123.8cm tall. This gives a height of 138cm.

The Galaxy S4 is 136.6cm tall.
The One is 137.4cm tall.
The G2 is 138.5cm tall.
The Z1 is 144.4cm tall.

This would place the iPhone 5S with the Typo keyboard smack dab in the middle, height wise, when it comes to flagship size.

It's still a derivative product that is copying the iconic keyboard from the Blackberry, but size isn't the problem here.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 15:33

7. terabyteRouser (Posts: 457; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Nice commentary Alan.

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 19:53

10. x78_nothing (Posts: 53; Member since: 07 Feb 2013)

typo is good choice, coz you know how fast (or lame) writing with Iphone 5s compare to BB Z30?, open youtube + this url /watch?v=PchnjfbINkw#t=0 (Alan probably knows this video, but pretty sure he wont publish it since he is ... hm hm...)

posted on 14 Jan 2014, 23:01

11. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

I wonder if BB is going to ask for an injunction barring Typo from shipping their keyboard? Supposedly Typo will be shipping in late February, 2014. This story has legs. Stay tuned.

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