BlackBerry 10 devices will have keyboards eventually: RIM

Daniel Bader

May 1, 2012 3:37 pm


In case you were frothing at the mouth over the idea of losing your precious hardware keyboard to the QNX-based BlackBerry 10 ecosystem, rest easy. RIM has confirmed to Phone Scoop that while the first BB10 device will be touchscreen-only, forthcoming iterations of the smartphone will have that coveted hardware keyboard we know and love.

Whether this means RIM will squeeze BB10 onto a smaller screen like the Bold 9900, or create a hybrid like the Torch 9810 remains to be seen, but at least we know that it’s coming eventually. We wonder if this concession is going to hurt RIM in the long run, but in order to prevent alienating the bulk of its paying customers, the board likely felt like they had no choice.

Considering BB10 is so touchscreen-focused, we’d be surprised to see any low-cost solutions that rely on a trackpad (at least we hope there won’t be any), but like Nokia with Windows Phone, RIM will have to weigh its options in developing markets and cut costs somehow. Whether that will be with low-resolution versions of BB10, or by continuing to market BB7 devices for a few more years is anyone’s guess.

Personally, I’d love to see RIM take a risk and remove hardware keyboards from its lineup completely. Sure, it risks upsetting the core customer base, but that base is quickly dwindling as more users realize how much more versatile virtual keyboards can be. Considering how much work RIM is putting into making its virtual keyboard the best on the market, we’re sure it wouldn’t be missed too greatly.

Source: Phone Scoop
Via: Engadget

  • more mah

    This is a disgrace. Rim is so dead.

    • Troll Alert

      TROLL ALERT!

    • Kyle Harriss

      “Rim is so dead”… Every phone out there is touch screen… Keyboards are dead.. Sorry, but touch first then keyboards..

  • barry

    i’ve tried every android keyboard app out there on my gnex and no none are as “versatile” as a real keyboard.. you’re fooling yourself. i’ve even thought of reverting back to the 9900 just to get the keyboard back, but will probably wait to see what the BB10 qwerty phone will be.

    • trojjanhorse

      I guess you never tried Swype.

  • jellmoo

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I hope that RIM goes all keyboardless (as I think that there is still a strong demand for a physical keyboard on devices in some sectors), but given what I saw from the expo today, I am very intrigued with the software keyboard they have developed.

  • kajenius

    Hopefully they can change thing around. Playbook has the best mobile web browser. If they can reinvent the virtual keyboard somehow, they might have a winner.

  • Plazmic

    I’ve owned several iPhones over the years and while I believe I’ve mastered the keyboard. There is something that can’t be beat with a physical keyboard. I don’t think I’ll be upgrading to iPhone 5. I’ll switch back to Blackberry once they get BB10 devices with physical keyboards. I hope these devices aren’t “gimped” compared to their all-touchscreen brothers.

  • Terry

    BB10 Torch…Mmmmm That’s what I’m waiting for. A decent screen and a slide out keypad….Yum. lol

  • InfinitiGuy

    It’s good they are considering physical keyboards in addition to the touch only models. It’s all about choice and for many people, physical keyboards work much better than a virtual one. I’m comfortable with both but I still prefer the physical keyboard function.

  • Ryan

    I’ve tried all-touch devices and now am back with the gloriously efficient Bold 9900 keyboard. Realistically I would probably still use a BB10 even if they go all-touch, simply because none of the competitors are offering good keyboards either, but I would be severely disappointed.

  • God #1

    I miss my Android with a keyboard. Virtual can never trump physical keyboards, we’re physical animals.

  • KAD

    better yet…
    put your QNX BB10 on my bold 9900…
    I would be a happy camper !

    seriously … the Bold 9900′s keyboard is a joy to use!

  • ToniCipriani

    Thank you. At least even if Open webOS doesn’t make it, I still have a backup option for my keyboards.

  • Bromandah Bolz

    Why would they do that? It doesn’t make sense.
    Psysical keyboard is what separates Blackberries from iOS and Android.
    Hopefully, they will not market it as an “iphone killer” like they did with BB Storm 9530.

  • Fred

    Mobile device companies want users to adapt to the virtual keyboard because they’re cheaper and easier to make. While there’s an element that claims that physical keyboards are dead, and there’s no market for them – I can assure you there’s a strong set of users who don’t buy the “you’ll get used to it” lie. You will NOT get used to it, you’ll just accept it and move on.

    I’ve been told over and over that I’ll “get used” to a virtual keyboard. I haven’t. And I won’t. STOP trying to make me.

  • Brian

    I believe a common misconception is that BBM is the one thing keeping people interested in BlackBerry.

    Sure I use BBM, but the Physical Keyboard is the absolute number one reason that’s keeping me interested in BB. Following that, is the PDA/Organizational tools (my entire life is based on BB’s native Tasks app), and very distantly behind that is BBM.

    Other than those three things, my Torch 9800 is complete trash so I’m excited at the prospect of an entirely new software environment.

  • Kin

    @.@ what?
    remove the physical keyboard completely?
    the writer is crazy….
    the keyboard is the selling point…, he wants rimm to die for sure if the physical keyboard is removed….

  • SunHammer

    I’ve had an iPhone 4S since it was released, I still can’t type on it without loads of mistakes and corrections. Typing the same thing on my Bold 9700 takes a fraction of the time with no errors. Generally, anything to do with quickly checking messages and quick responses are far far far faster on my qwerty Bold.

    A real keyboard does make sense… I don’t see anyone using a “virtual” glass keyboard for their desktop computer…

  • Wake Up Campaign

    By late 2012 rims market share will be < 1%

    • ToniCipriani

      How’s it going Fat Founder?

  • kman

    I love my 9900 keyboard… dumped my 9800 to go back to the slightly bigger keys and no need for constant sliding.

    … that said the handheld is pretty much useless for anything other than email/calendar/contacts/phone/poynt. All my other apps are on android tablet and to a (much) lesser degree, playbook.

    for email i’ll go to the keyboard on the bberry even if im doing something else on the tablets.

  • Jesse

    RIM will have to get those keyboard devices out sooner than later. Physical keyboards are RIM’s bread and butter.

    I personally love the keyboard on my Dell Venue Pro so much that I can’t even use the virtual one anymore.

  • The D

    Please keep the keyboard, don’t care for the laggy touchscreens.

    • Wake Up Campaign

      Please keep typewriters I don’t care for computers lol

  • jeremy

    Every year rim should release 1 or 2 keyboard ohonea( for the keyboard lovers) and make the rest touchscreens.

  • I.R.

    without a querty you lose me as a user. I have a few friends whoused the 9910 and switched within months to querty units.
    big mistake for RIM to ignore the needs of key board users.