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BlackBerry's signature keyboard to be given one last hurrah

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has confirmed that another smartphone carrying the company's signature physical keyboard is coming soon.

Published onNovember 11, 2016

blackberry priv review aa (7 of 32)

BlackBerry may be focusing on software rather than hardware these days, but the struggling company has one last in-house hardware treat for fans on its way. Speaking with Bloomberg, BlackBerry CEO John Chen has confirmed that another phone with a physical keyboard is “coming” and that the wait won’t be that long.

Talk about another phone with a physical keyboard originally aired back in September, but hadn’t been confirmed by BlackBerry until now. We don’t have any details on hardware specifications at this stage, but it’s possible that we’re looking at another flagship smartphone that would serve as a successor to the Priv, which also had a physical keyboard. However, the Priv proved to be a bit of a flop for a number of reasons, so it will be interesting to see how this new model is marketed.

“We have one keyboard phone I promised people … It’s coming.” – BlackBerry CEO John Chen

With BlackBerry outsourcing hardware development to other manufacturers these days, the DTEK50 is essentially an Alcatel Idol 4S, it is possible that this will be the last phone to carry the company’s signature physical keyboard. Chen mentions that this upcoming handset will very likely be the company’s “last in-house phone”, after carefully evaluating its hardware production situation this year. In the future, the company is to be much more focused on licensing software to generate its revenue stream.

Unfortunately Chen was light on a release date, other than saying that the wait won’t be that long. BlackBerry has not long launched its mid-tier DTEK50 and high-end DTEK60, so we may be waiting until early next year for an official announcement about this new handset. But the important question is, what would you want to see in BlackBerry’s final in-house phone to make you buy one?

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