RIM to forego the keyboard with BlackBerry 10

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

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.