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Blackberry pins its hopes on the QWERTY keyboard

Next generation smartphone will 'predominantly' feature physical keys
Mon Jan 13 2014, 15:35
Blackberry Q10 final

CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry is hoping the humble QWERTY keyboard will be its saviour, revealing that its future smartphones will "predominantly" feature physical keys.

Blackberry, if you aren't aware, hasn't been having a great time recently. During its most recent earnings call, the firm reported a £2.7bn loss and admitted that its Blackberry 10 smartphones haven't been selling. These setbacks caused the Canadian firm to cancel two upcoming smartphones and its Blackberry Live conference for 2014.

Going forward, however, it seems that the firm is pinning all of its hopes on a tried and tested feature, the physical QWERTY keyboard.

That's according to Blackberry CEO John Chen, who reaffirmed his company's focus on the enterprise by revealing that the firm's future smartphones will "predominantly" feature physical keyboards.

Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Chen said, "I personally love the keyboards. So you will look to Blackberry going forward doing keyboards, I wouldn't use the word 'exclusively', but predominantly."

Blackberry has confirmed that it does have a fully touchscreen device in the works, however, with Chen hinting that the company is working on a sub-$200 device for release this year.

Chen went on to add that Blackberry is so serious about the keyboard that it has file a lawsuit against 'Typo', a smartphone peripheral backed by Ryan Seacrest that brings the QWERTY keyboard to the iPhone and Android handsets.

Blackberry claims that the add-on is a "blatant rip-off" of the Blackberry keyboard, with Chen adding, "BlackBerry has 44,000 patents. I think it's important that we gain some business benefits through our ownership of those patents and our ownership of intellectual property."

Can the QWERTY keyboard save Blackberry? We're not entirely convinced that it can, especially given the reportedly lacklustre sales of the firm's latest Blackberry Q10 smartphone. µ

 

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