Last week, BlackBerry announced a couple new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, including its upcoming Q20 handset. The Q20 is notable for not just being another hardware keyboard model, but also going back to the company’s roots by incorporating some old-style menu, back, send, and end buttons, as well as a trackpad. We weren’t quite sure how enthusiastic we should be towards the company taking a step backwards with its designs like that, but maybe we were being a little too hasty; after all, we hadn’t even seen the smartphone yet. That’s probably due in no small part to just how far off its retail availability still is, with BlackBerry initially saying that the Q20 would arrive sometime in the second half of the year. Today we take that six month window and really start narrowing it down, as BlackBerry zeroes-in on the Q20’s release.
In an interview with Bloomberg, BlackBerry CEO John Chen says that while he would prefer to have the Q20 available already, realistically we’re probably looking at it going up for sale in September or October.
Chen also spends a bit of time talking about how the Q20 is expected to appeal to BlackBerry’s pre-BB10 user base, and how that will extend from the return of those old hardware components to the phone’s UI, which he says should still seem very familiar to even those older users.