Chen Confirms New BlackBerry Keyboard Phone Is Coming


BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed recently in a Bloomberg TV interview that they will release a new keyboard phone. In September, Chen hinted at the keyboard phone, but he did not confirm it until Thursday.

He told Bloomberg TV’s Emily Chang, “We have one keyboard phone I promised people… It’s coming.”

Thurber did hint at the phone before

What Chen said is similar to what Thurber said before. On October 6, Alex Thurber,BlackBerry’s senior vice president of global device sales, told the BBC that there would still be a keyboard based-BlackBerry smartphone “designed and distributed within the next six months.”

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Several leaks about the keyboard-based handset have emerged since Thurber hinted at the phone, purportedly dubbed the Mercury. The leaks include the concept that a fingerprint sensor may be integrated into the phone’s space bar. The smartphone appears to have made an appearance on Geekbench as well, disclosing 3GB of RAM and a Qualcomm octa-core processor clocked at 2.02GHz, notes Mobilesyrup.

Phone to come with BlackBerry’s signature feature

Officially, the Canadian firm has stopped making its own smartphones; however, it still has one last phone for fans. This new phone sports BlackBerry’s trademark: the physical keyboard.

The Canadian firm has gradually shifted to software from smartphones under Chen’s leadership. In September, Chen said the company would stop producing, distributing and stocking its own phones completely and would stop making hardware for its devices. Rather, it will license the BlackBerry brand to third-party manufacturers for smartphones they make on their own.

BlackBerry smartphones are best-known for their most popular feature, which is the physical keyboard. Many former owners of BlackBerry handsets are still mourning the absence of the physical keyboard as they lazily tap out e-mails on their smartphones or iPhones and sign off with words such as “pardon the typos,” says Bloomberg.

Chen on Trump’s win

Earlier this year, Chen said he was worried about the anti-immigrant rhetoric of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Chen, a Republican who served on the advisory council on exports for President George W. Bush, hopes that Trump, as president, will surround himself with moderates and pare back threats to end some visas for foreign tech workers.

On Trump’s election win, Chen said, “It happened, so we need to make the best out of it… Nobody really knows what he’s going to do next.”

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