BlackBerry is Launching Another All-Touchscreen Phone in October
Before the advent of Android and iOS, BlackBerry phones were all the rage. After all, their QWERTY keyboard solution was replicated by pretty much every OEM back in the day. They dominated the smartphone market from 2006 to 2008-2009, ahead of when touchscreen smartphones took the world by storm.
While BlackBerry tried to compete with their BB 10 platform back in 2012-2013, they couldn’t keep up. So they ended up as another Android OEM. What was the difference this time around? They continued using QWERTY keyboards, which many people prefer over all-touchscreen phones because of convenience. The BlackBerry Priv and the KEYOne are good examples of modern Android phones with QWERTY keyboards, having launched in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
But the company is aware that there’s a thriving market for all-touchscreen phones – a market they don’t want to miss out on. At an IFA 2017 briefing in Berlin, TCL’s head of global sales François Mahieu said that two months from now “we will have a touchscreen solution to show”. This isn’t much of a surprise, considering that this wouldn’t be the first all-touchscreen BB phone. Case in point: BlackBerry Z10, Z30, DTEK50 and DTEK60. But it shows that BB is, indeed, committed to this market too. According to Mr. Mahieu, “we should not be blind to the demand that’s out there”. TCL has previously promised as many as 3 devices for their 2017 lineup, and this would be the second one.
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The phone would likely be some sort of successor to the DTEK50 and DTEK60 phones, launched in 2016, both featuring full touchscreens. BlackBerry is completely committed to both markets, as Mr. Mahieu said that “it will continue to be true in the future that keyboards are definitely a big element of [BlackBerry’s] DNA”. So it’s very likely we’ll see another phone with a QWERTY keyboard in the future as well.
TCL wants to resurrect the BlackBerry brand at all costs. Mr. Mahieu declared that they were here to stay, and they were rolling out more BlackBerry products in the coming years, starting this year. So, with or without a keyboard, it’s very clear that BlackBerry is coming back hard to the smartphone game.