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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13 Comments

1. Sesameopen

Posts: 109; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

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

2. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

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

5. Kriksis

Posts: 94; Member since: Aug 27, 2012

You mean something like the pretty old Sony Ericson P910 http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_ericsson_p910-846.php It was a touchscreen smartphone with hinged QWERTY keypad, that you could fold down to have a bigger screen...

8. JC557

Posts: 1917; Member since: Dec 07, 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).

12. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

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

3. c.django

Posts: 13; Member since: Jan 09, 2014

ugly stupid idea.

4. alextheZowner

Posts: 33; Member since: Jan 01, 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

13. TBomb

Posts: 1134; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

unfortunately, thats true

6. iami67

Posts: 330; Member since: Oct 18, 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.

9. jellmoo

Posts: 2530; Member since: Oct 31, 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.

7. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Nice commentary Alan.

10. x78_nothing

Posts: 53; Member since: Feb 07, 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...)

11. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 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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