While many flocked to BlackBerry phones for their tactile QWERTY keyboards, those who prefer touchscreens may want to pay attention to the next BlackBerry handset in the pipeline.
TCL, the manufacturer in charge of the BlackBerry brand, plans to release a companion phone to the high-end BlackBerry KeyOne — this time replacing the built-in keyboard with a full touchscreen display, according to CNET.
It’s no surprise that TCL has more BlackBerries to release before the year is out. However, the all-screen phone comes as a small surprise because not only will it ditch the physical keyboard, but could also make a launch as soon as October.
The device is also said to cost about the same as the BlackBerry KeyOne (about $549, £499, AU$729), meaning the phone will likely be on the higher end of the quality scale compared to BlackBerry’s more budget-friendly, touchscreen-only Android phones — the BlackBerry DTEK50 and DTEK60.
While this likely won’t spell the end of BlackBerry’s trademark physical keyboards, the move towards more traditional smartphone designs could help the phone maker find an audience beyond hardcore business-types.
Until then, we hope to learn more what TCL and BlackBerry have planned during IFA 2017, which kicks off this week in Berlin.