We already know that TCL is planning to bring a number of affordable low to mid-end Alcatel smartphones to Berlin this week for presumably discreet IFA 2017 announcements, but the Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer has been awfully quiet about BlackBerry-branded releases lately. Almost ominously so.
Of course, the company confirmed a bunch of impending stuff way back in February, shortly after unveiling the KEYone that proved quite the critical and commercial hit. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded there are indeed more BlackBerries in the pipeline though, especially with no sign of TCL-branded or revived Palm gadgets in the market today.
TCL’s head of global sales, regional marketing and e-commerce for the BlackBerry Mobile division, Francois Mahieu, went a step further in a press briefing earlier today, revealing a very important aspect about the next BlackBerry device and an ETA.
Unlike the KEYone, which holds an important productivity advantage over modern-day flagship smartphones in a retro-style physical QWERTY keyboard, this unnamed upcoming handset will largely blend in with the crowd sporting an all-touchscreen body.
Due out sometime in October as a DTEK60 sequel of sorts rather than a direct follow-up to the KEYone, the mysterious device might be one and the same as the mid-range BBD 100-1 rumored a little while ago. Either that, or TCL has two new BlackBerries slated for official announcements by the end of the year, hopefully including a full-fledged high-end model.
One thing’s for sure, regardless of exactly what’s in store – TCL is “here to stay and we’re going to roll out more Blackberry products in the coming years.” There’s “more to talk about” than the KEYone, according to Mahieu, and keyboards will remain a “big element of BlackBerry’s DNA”, even if the… DTEK 70 (?) isn’t supposed to feature one, sticking to a “full-sized” display.