What was the one thing (okay, the second thing) that most people loved about the older BlackBerry phones? Aside from the legendary SMS messaging system that was more secure than most others, the older BlackBerry phones had one of the best keyboards going.
BlackBerry’s QWERTY keyboard was something that a lot of former BlackBerry owners still miss. So it’s not really a shocker that BlackBerry has, indirectly, brought back that popular keyboard.
Officially, BlackBerry doesn’t make smartphones anymore. But the company’s manufacturing partner, TCL Communications, does - and TCL is putting out a new phone that has the old BlackBerry keyboard attached.
The New BlackBerry Branded Phone
TCL makes phones with the BlackBerry brand attached, and, as such, uses some of the company’s old tricks to entice former BlackBerry owners. The CEO of TCL has been posting some teaser images to Twitter this week.
Those images show a keyboard not unlike the older BlackBerry keyboard models. Like other TCL phones with the BlackBerry brand, the newest version will also run on BlackBerry’s version of Android and come with all the BlackBerry apps.
Who’s It For
While smartphones with touchpad keyboards are still very popular, the smartphone market has slowed down and it’s not what it once was. This is largely in part due to the fact that smartphones haven’t really evolved. But it’s also due to the fact that some people want a simpler phone. Simpler things are what people seem to be reaching for.
So while the new BlackBerry phone will come with all the necessary apps and camera, it will also go back to basics with the old beloved keyboard. So far, the response on Twitter has been promising and it seems like people are waiting with baited breath to see the newest BlackBerry. But will this new device with the old keyboard be enough to bring back those BlackBerry owners of the past?
Is A Brand Really Ever Gone?
Can BlackBerry fall back on its former brand? Many former BlackBerry owners now have new smartphones or phones that they’ve adapted to (including the new keyboard options). A new phone with the old keyboard might not be enough to get those former fans back. Then again, the keyboard was the one thing that people missed the most, so this trick just might work.
As far as what’s included in the new BlackBerry otherwise, that remains to be seen. The snippets that are appearing on Twitter don’t show too much (just enough) to really understand what the new phone is all about. However, it’s promising to see a company move back to the older QWERTY keyboards.
For those that did not adopt to touchpads, a keyboard that does things the old fashioned way might just be what they were looking for. The new phone will surface within the next few months. An exact release date has not been mentioned as of yet, but I will keep you posted when the phone does arrive. If you miss the old BlackBerry keyboard, keep your eyes open.