When BlackBerry was looking for a buyer to take it private, there was a lot of speculation about the future of its hardware business. Some analysts expected that whoever bought the company would shut the division down, but that didn’t happen. The new CEO John Chen has reiterated BlackBerry’s commitment to the consumer market and clarified that the hardware business isn’t going away anytime soon. Though significant changes do need to be made, given that the company hasn’t been able to come up with a hit smartphone in quite a long time. It seems BlackBerry is going back to its roots and once again embracing the full QWERTY keyboard.
Die-hard BlackBerry users would still argue that there’s nothing like typing on a full QWERTY keyboard touting device manufactured by the Canadian company. On the other hand, the market is increasingly shifting towards smartphone with large full-screen displays. BlackBerry CEO John Chen says that the company’s future smartphones will “predominantly” tout physical keyboards, “I personally love the keyboards,” said Chen in an interview with Bloomberg Television. It could mean that the high-end devices that BlackBerry will continue to manufacture in-house will tout physical keyboards, whereas the low-end and mid-range devices that Foxconn will be tasked with for emerging markets may come with full-screen displays. The first device to come out of the BB-Foxconn collaboration is said to tout a full-screen display. BlackBerry is expected to release two high-end devices in 2014, so far it hasn’t dropped any major hints about them.