We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of the BlackBerry 10 launch – a year that BlackBerry probably wishes it could forget, if not just get a do-over. Neither the platform nor its hardware really resonated with the public in the way it needed to, and as a result, the company nearly ceased to exist. But now BlackBerry has found itself a second (third?) wind, got itself a new CEO, and is committed to moving forward with making smartphones. If you were a big fan of the progress the company made away from its hardware keyboard roots this year with models like the Z10 or the new Z30, you might want to start looking elsewhere, as now CEO John Chen makes it clear that BlackBerry’s future will see it returning to hardware QWERTY designs.
While we could still get some full-touch models moving forward, Chen explains that the predominant share of the BlackBerry lineup in years to come will consist of handsets incorporating hardware keyboards.
That could either be an awful move, damning BlackBerry to fall even further behind the tide of progress, or a very cunning one, enabling the company to hold on to loyal users who have been fearing that it might turn into another faceless OEM with nothing special to its hardware.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek