BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) To Users: Keyboard Isn’t Going Anywhere

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BlackBerry recently revealed plans of putting an end to its Classic phone. After the news went viral, many media outlets claimed that the end of the Classic phone will spell doom for physical keyboards as well. However, as it turns out, such reports are totally false.

BlackBerry denies axing the physical keyboard

BlackBerry Senior Vice President Alex Thurber took to Twitter to clear up all the confusion. He confirmed that the keyboard isn’t going anywhere.

“In response to some recent press reports, I want to be clear that @BlackBerry users have nothing to fear — the keyboard is here to stay..,” tweeted Thurber.

So while other smartphones with full touchscreen displays are pretty much standard these days, BlackBerry has decided to keep its physical keyboard. Even its current flagship, the Priv, has a slide-out keyboard, but it also comes with a full touchscreen display. And of the three new rumored BlackBerry Android phones, the Neon, Argon and Mercury, one will supposedly have a keyboard.

The Neon is said to be the first low- to mid-range handset with a 5.2-inch full HD display, an aluminum frame and a Snapdragon 617 chipset. Other rumored features include 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 13MP rear-facing camera and a 8MP front-facing camera.

The Argon, which is rumored for an October launch, is said to have features like a 5.5-inch QHD display, a Snapdragon 820 chipset with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a fingerprint reader and a 21MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing camera. The last is the Mercury, which is rumored to have a physical keyboard and feature a 4.5-inch full HD display, a Snapdragon 625chip, 3GB of RAM, and 18MP rear and 8MP front camera. The phone is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2017.

There’s no sign that suggest the keyboard is going anywhere as the keyboard is one feature that separates BlackBerry from the competition.

BB OS 10 not going anywhere either

Announcing the end of the Classic phone, the Canadian firm said, “To keep innovating and advancing our portfolio, we are updating our smartphone lineup with state of the art devices. As part of this, and after many successful years in the market, we will no longer manufacture BlackBerry Classic.”

Also this isn’t the end of the BlackBerry OS 10. The company hinted at a new version 10.3.3 to be out next month and another update to follow later this year.

At 9:31 a.m. Eastern, BlackBerry shares were up 0.77% at $6.55. Year to date, the stock is down more than 30%, while in the last year, it is down more than 15%.

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