While many flocked to BlackBerry phones because of their tactile QWERTY keyboards, those who prefer the sleek feel of touchscreens may perk up at the next BlackBerry handset in the pipeline.
TCL, the manufacturer now in charge of the BlackBerry brand, has plans to release a companion device to the BlackBerry KeyOne.
Only this time, according to TCL's global head of sales François Mahieu (via CNET), the built-in keyboard will be taken away in favor of a full touchscreen display.
The new BlackBerry smartphone comes as somewhat of a shock because not only will it ditch the company's signature physical keyboard, it will also be here in just two months.
That's right: the new, touchscreen-only BlackBerry phone has a release planned for sometime in October.
Mahieu said the new phone will cost about the same as the KeyOne, which rings in at $549 (£499, AU$729), which is actually still cheaper than the iPhone 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Still, the new BlackBerry phone will occupy the higher end of the spectrum compared to the company's more budget-friendly, touchscreen-only Android phones: the BlackBerry DTEK50 and DTEK60.
According to Engadget, the touch-only handset will also be certified water-resistant, a first for the BlackBerry brand.
While Mahieu assured BlackBerry isn't ditching keyboards for good, this could prove to be a smart way to attract new buyers in an era of near ubiquitous touchscreen-only phones. It can pay to mix up your offerings, and TCL sounds willing to try just that.
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