RIM to forego the keyboard with BlackBerry 10

RIM to forego the keyboard with BlackBerry 10

Summary: RIM is dropping the keyboard from BlackBerry 10, at least at first.

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Image credit: CNET

The BlackBerry with the famous physical keyboard will be nowhere near BlackBerry 10, at least at first. RIM has confirmed to the Seattle Times that the first handsets to appear late this year with BlackBerry 10 inside will not have keyboards.

The first BlackBerry 10 phones will feature touch screens with virtual keyboards only. There will be handsets with physical keyboards following the first effort, but no word when those might appear.

BlackBerry 10 is the next major version of the operating system from RIM that the company hopes will bring it into the modern age. Demonstrations of the next version given earlier this year show that BlackBerry 10 shows real promise.

RIM is in desperate straits and is betting the farm on BlackBerry 10 to level things off and bring it into the future. The decision to go virtual keyboard first may impede that leveling as many corporate BlackBerry users do so for the outstanding physical keyboards on most of RIM's handsets. BlackBerrys with virtual keyboards haven't done well in the past and obviously RIM is hoping BlackBerry 10 will spell the difference.

Topics: Mobile OS, Hardware, Mobility, BlackBerry, Security

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16 comments
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  • Wow

    The Blackberry users I know who haven't left Blackberry have not done so because they want a device with a physical keyboard to replace their current Blackberry. I can only hope for Bb's sake that there are plenty that feel differently.
    WebSiteManager
    • Blackberry Users

      Amen!
      TheAlcatrazKid
    • How many dedicated users are left...

      That want nothing else but their BlackBerry style physical keyboards? Apparently not enough to help stop RIMs decline in the market.

      But there may be hope. The fact that they are launching their new all-touch phones ahead of their physical keyboard phones shows they too may be finally getting it. Full touch is where it's at the majority.
      dave95.
      • 78 million ...

        The issue is the market is growing at a fast pace and RIM doesn't have a device that appeals (outside of those that prefer a keyboard). So they have a market share but in context of where the market was when they were #1 to now it's likely the same share.
        MobileAdmin
  • Wow!

    The only reason I use a BlackBerry Bold is because of the physical keyboard. If RIM goes total touch screen, they lose me, and most of the people I know. What the hell is wrong with those people at RIM?
    ITOdeed
    • Me too, sorta

      The physical keyboard is very important to me. However, the most important reason for not going with another smartphone is that the BB has been great synching with Outlook. I keep my current 9930 (W/ phone service) & two older Curves (which I use as mp3 players, etc.) synched up with my current Calendar & Contacts. I also use the 9930 as an intermediary to keep Outlook on all my computers up to date.

      Now, with the advent of the new sync software inside Desktop Software v7.0 (which replaced Intellisync) being a total disaster, that will no longer be a consideration.

      So when my subscription runs out in a year, I will be out of BB's clutches even though I have been with BB since the first sidewheel.
      c-bob
      • no worries!

        The functionalities you described are also available on Android phones (and maybe iOS, I don't know that)
        So you definitely won't be lost ;-)
        belli_bettens@...
  • I can wait.

    As Kendrick's post says "There will be handsets with physical keyboards following the first effort..." Personally I'll wait and see what those look like. I will point out the virtual keyboard in my Playbook is great. About the best I have seen and used so it probably isn't all doom and gloom.
    TrajMag
  • This is a bad move.

    Blackberries are known for having the best physical keyboards??? now i don't know what is preventing someone from choosing android/apple over RIM. BB 10 better not dissapoint
    smu122
  • Rotten, horrible title. Way to mislead everyone with click-bait.

    RIM will absolutely have a BB10 phone with a keyboard, this was confirmed by their CEO today! You know this, state it in the article, but chose to write an inflammatory title.

    Pathetic.
    sagec
  • Tech Blogs asleep?

    Maybe I'm crazy but at Blackberry World in May RIM already stated the first BB10 device will be all touch and a keyboard offering would follow in Q1 2013 (assuming BB10 makes it and actually sells)

    Why now at the end of June this is now news of the day reeks of finding anything negative to spin about RIM. Maybe to buffer some of the bad taste about Microsoft's awful Windows 8 mobile fiasco or how little iOS 6 is going to improve .. eh what do I know pretty soon OS updates will consist of making icons different sizes and call it progess .. oh wait thats Windows 8 Phone .....
    MobileAdmin
  • Open-Source Blackberry OS?

    How about if RIM open-sourced their Blackberry OS, and invited other device makers to adopt it? That would greatly widen the choice of devices, and we have seen how crucial that has been to the success of Android.

    The time for single-company platforms is over.
    ldo17
  • Should we wait then?

    We are about to update our devices agency-wide, we've considered getting the 9900s but the question is, will the 9900 be BB10 upgradable? Should we wait for the new devices? I read that Microsoft jus made the new Nokia Lumia obsolete by not offering a Windows 8 upgraded (they will only be upgraded to 7.8). The same could happen to the new BB models, right?
    vmiyakawa
  • Caught with their pants down

    I recall the mumbling and fumbling after the announcement where, when asked about the not-mentioned keyboard, whats-his-name quickly assured everybody that, of course, there will be a keyboard - just don't know when.

    It's all over, folks, but the burial.

    And, by the way, everybody better start to take note about the "new" Microsoft - killer products, fully-integrated Windows systems, strong concentration on the business market... The new Windows phone will - mark my words - overtake iPhone in sales quite handily and, as the Android market becomes more and more fragmented, open the way for a strong entry into the consumer market as well.

    JMO...

    Oh, forgot about the Surface - again, killer product, business market target, fully integrated Windows 8. What can I say? Maybe it will wake up their partners to step up their game. In the meantime, "way to go, Microsoft!"

    Edit: I await your flames...
    no_axe_to__grind
  • Check your facts

    There will be a physical keyboard offered. You're headline is misleading to say the least, like some grocery store pulp rag. I for one, hope RIM survives and that BB10 is a success. From what I've seen, it looks pretty sweet and the Playbook is an elegant, cheap, device. Apps? I've got enough to keep me happy.
    donwarr
  • LOL, they're finally listening to the market

    For the past years, they've just been using "The BB is a Business SmartPhone, Other SmartPhones are Toys" as an excuse to be different and see where it's been leading them; down the drain. Better late than never :D
    MrElectrifyer