BlackBerry Ltd senior VP of global device sales, Alex Thurber, said that within the next six months a new smartphone with a physical keyboard would be released. Previously, CEO John Chen commented in an interview with BNN that BlackBerry’s signature QWERTY keyboard will ‘continue on.’
Keyboards – unique feature of BlackBerry phones
In an interview with the BBC, Thurber said, “There will still be a keyboard-based BlackBerry device, designed and distributed within the next six months. I think there is a demand for keyboard phones. As we’ve been showing the mockups of what we’ve been working on, to our carrier and distributor partners, they’re very excited about this.”
Thurber said that the keyboards are a unique feature of the BlackBerry phones, and set the devices apart from the ones from Apple and Samsung that feature giant touch screen displays. It is expected that a DTEK model will be the one with a keyboard. Shipment of the first DTEK device began in August. DTEK devices make use of a BlackBerry version of the Android OS.
DTEK60 specs – confirmed
In the meantime, BlackBerry Ltd fans can expect one of its OEM partners to release another slate device – the DTEK60, which was accidently leaked by BlackBerry’s own website. The page in question had the appendix ‘donotpublish’ clearly visible in the URL, but it was taken down soon. The page is back up now, and confirms the DTEK60’s specs and ‘coming soon’ status, notes GSM Arena
The DTEK60 device will feature a 5.5 inch QHD display, 32GB of internal storage, 4GB of RAM, fingerprint scanner, and run on powerful Snapdragon 820 processor and sport a powerful 3,000mAh battery. The main camera is 21MP with PDAF, has f/2.0 aperture and comes with 4K video recording capabilities. The secondary camera is 8MP with f/2.2 aperture and allows for a wide selfie.
Also, there is a USB Type-C port as well with OTG support. The device will come with LTE Advanced with speeds up to 300 Mbps, GPS with GLONASS and BeiDou, WI-Fi a/c, NFC and dual-band. There is no FM radio in the device. The device will boot Android, and it will be come complete with BlackBerry’s own set of security features and apps.
After BlackBerry’s announcement, there is a lot of confusion around BlackBerry’s decision to discontinue making handsets. People wish to know if the BlackBerry Ltd phones will disappear altogether, or will continue to be available after in-house design and development cease by the end of financial year on Feb. 28.
Clearing this, Thurber said, “We’ll now be working with partners to take our software onto their hardware. So there will continue to be BlackBerry-branded devices for sale all over the world.” As of now, there is just one such partnership announced, with a joint venture firm that will primarily make BlackBerry devices for the Indonesian market, notes CBC News.