BlackBerry stresses ‘keyboard is here to stay’, but in what form?
With both the US President and Senate apparently finally past the long-celebrated super-secure but out-of-fashion BlackBerries, an iconic design discontinued and unlikely to yield a direct successor, as well as the looming “Neon” and “Argon” rumored to adopt full touchscreen form factors, QWERTY keyboard admirers and nostalgics understandably felt uneasy.
Enter BlackBerry SVP of Device Sales Alex Thurber, who decided to clarify on Twitter that “users have nothing to fear”, as “the keyboard is here to stay.” Technically, this could be interpreted in a number of ways, since it doesn’t explicitly confirm the imminent arrival of a new Android or BB 10 OS-powered smartphone catered for productivity enthusiasts.
After all, the BlackBerry Classic might be dead, but the Passport and Priv aren’t… just yet. On the other hand, we already know a device codenamed Mercury will follow in Neon and Argon’s footsteps sometime in early 2017, almost certainly taking a few aesthetic and functionality cues from the boxy Passport, including a touch panel and physical QWERTY keyboard.
Overall, this sounds a lot like indirect corroboration of recent gossip, proving BB will continue to try to innovate and refresh its public image while staying true to its roots. Solid plan, at least on paper.