BlackBerry plans to keep the QWERTY keyboard alive

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry dropped a huge bombshell yesterday announcing it would no longer make phones. Instead, the struggling Canadian firm said that it would begin outsourcing hardware development to third parties.

The news led many fans to to mourn their cherished BlackBerries and feared the worst for the iconic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard. However, BlackBerry CEO John Chen put those fears to rest today by confirming that the physical QWERTY keyboard would live on.

"We need to sit down with each [company] to work on a portfolio," said Chen speaking with Business News Network. "[QWERTY] will continue on but we'll be very selective."

But will anyone actually care about BlackBerry retaining its iconic physical keyboard? Digital keyboards are now so good that many people can type on them without issue. It took some getting used to, especially with trusting auto correct, but a physical keyboard on a phone seems like a relic of the past.

BlackBerry Priv keyboard

"For those coming from fully touchscreen devices the keyboard on the Priv will likely feel outdated and clunky," said our very own John McCann in his BlackBerry Priv review. "The keys are small, and I continually found myself hitting the wrong letters."

There are plenty of third-party keyboard apps for both Android and iOS for users to choose from. Swiftkey is great for those who want intelligent typing. Google Gboard is great for iOS users who want quick access to search results and animated GIFs.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.