Devices > Emerging Devices Blog

Blackberry MUST Give Up on Keyboard Phones

by Neil Mawston | 8月 20, 2015

Unconfirmed rumors abound this week that Blackberry will soon launch an Android keyboard-slider phone with a curved-screen for the US and global markets.

Putting aside the potential brand-dilution of Blackberry adopting Android OS, the more serious question here (if the rumor is to be believed) would be: why is Blackberry persisting with keyboard phones?

The first main reason, of course, is that Blackberry likes to develop new keyboard phones for its existing, loyal customer base (e.g. Passport). The second main reason is that detachable / hybrid tablets are popular, and snap-on keyboards for smartphones are making a slight comeback (e.g. Samsung GS6 edge+).

But, according to our WDS (Devices) service, keyboard phones (with a physical QWERTY / AZERTY keyboard) account for just 1 in 50 of all mobile phones sold worldwide today. It is a very niche market. And demand for keyboard phones is NOT getting much bigger anytime soon, because most consumers prefer touchscreens with virtual keyboards that are easier to press, modify or keep clean.

If (if) Blackberry launches yet another keyboard phone in the coming weeks, we would probably view it as a mild negative for the firm. Blackberry MUST move on and give up on keyboard phones.

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