Next BlackBerry Phone To Be Water Resistant And Ditch Keyboard

Next BlackBerry Phone To Be Water Resistant And Ditch Keyboard
jieyirain / Pixabay

TCL will reportedly unveil an all-touchscreen BlackBerry phone in October. The phone is expected to come with an IP67 rating, which means it will be dust and water resistance, notes Engadget. Further, the battery is expected to be huge, lasting up to 26 hours with “mixed use.”

What to expect from the next all-touchscreen BlackBerry phone

TCL, the manufacturer of BlackBerry phones, did not reveal much about the form feature of the phone. However, it seems that the new phone will be nothing like the KeyOne or Priv. It looks like BlackBerry is all set to ditch its signature physical keyboard.

François Mahieu, head of global sales for TCL, talked about a BlackBerry phone with no keyboard at the IFA 2017 tech conference in Berlin. Mahieu did mention that the new phone will be made considering the features that business users are fond of. Further, the price of the new phone will be similar to that of the latest BlackBerry flagship, the KeyOne. The KeyOne costs $549, so the upcoming handset will probably be cheaper than the iPhone 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S8.

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BlackBerry’s contract manufacturer stated that its all-touchscreen BlackBerry phone will have a distinctive image and that it will succeed in drawing people away from established brands such as Samsung and Apple. With this phone, the company is looking to make durability and longevity its core selling points. The handset is also expected to have all-new security features.

There have been reports that the upcoming phone will have a Snapdragon 626 processor, which may not be enough if BlackBerry wants customers to ditch Galaxy devices and iPhones.

Is this the end of the QWERTY Keypad?

BlackBerry, which was once a leader in the smartphone segment, seems to have failed on two major fronts: adapting faster technology and keeping pace with rivals in releasing new phones. However, TCL surely does not want those mistakes to be repeated, and a touchscreen phone is a good hint at that.

Mahieu acknowledged that the company cannot survive by shutting its ears to customer demands, adding that the company is keen to offer better choices to customers who prefer touchscreen phones. A touchscreen phone does not mean that the company is abandoning the physical keyboard concept; rather, it is just a deviation.

“It will continue to be true in the future those keyboards are definitely a big element of [BlackBerry’s] DNA,” Mahieu said.

The BlackBerry KeyOne failed to make a mark, just like all its predecessors did amid increasing competition from the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. What made matters worse was that the KeyOne wasn’t released by mobile carriers in the United States until several months after its release. Now it is going to be even tougher with the Galaxy Note 8 on the market and the soon-to-be-unveiled iPhones, the LG V30 and a new Google Pixel phone.

TCL’s Mahieu, however, believes that BlackBerry cannot be written off entirely, as it still enjoys a small but loyal base of customers.

“We’re here to stay and we’re going to roll out more BlackBerry products in the coming years, starting this year.”

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