Skip to main content

Technology BlackBerry will have new keyboard model within six months, executive says

One of BlackBerry's top sales executives says the company will release a new smartphone with its distinctive physical keyboard within six months.

The comment was made in a BBC video interview published Wednesday, a week after the Canadian smartphone pioneer announced it would stop doing hardware development in-house.

Instead, it said it would rely on partners to produce BlackBerry devices.

Story continues below advertisement

It's been an open secret that BlackBerry has at least one more smartphone with a keyboard that hasn't been released.

But chairman and CEO John Chen said last week that he hadn't decided whether it would be brought to market.

The company's senior vice-president for global device sales, Alex Thurber, was less vague in his interview with BBC.

"There will still be a keyboard-based BlackBerry device, designed and distributed within the next six months," he said.

Thurber said that the keyboards set BlackBerrys apart from market-leading Apple and Samsung smartphones that feature touch screens.

"I think there's a demand for keyboard phones. As we've been showing mockups of what we've been working on, to our carrier and distributor partners, they are very excited about this," Thurber said in the three-minute video.

He addressed confusion about whether BlackBerry smartphones will disappear or continue to be available after in-house design and development ceases by the end of the company's 2017 financial year on Feb. 28.

Story continues below advertisement

"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," Thurber said.

The only such partnership announced is with a joint venture company that will primarily make BlackBerrys for the Indonesian market.

The keyboard phone is expected to be a DTEK model. The first DTEK — a touch-screen device using a BlackBerry version of the Android operating system — began shipping in August.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter