BlackBerry phones have almost always had a “belt” which contained either a trackball or a trackpad, apart from a back button, a BB button and two separate buttons for receiving or declining calls. Trackballs were phased out a long time ago and replaced by trackpads, but last year when it launched its new BB10 phones, the company eliminated this belt altogether. Now this might not have been appreciated by some BB loyalists who would have preferred that the company retained this once iconic setup. If a new report is true, apparently BlackBerry is bringing back the trackpad as well as the entire belt of buttons.
The company is going to unveil the device that it has developed in collaboration with Foxconn tomorrow at Mobile World Congress 2014. While this device will only be geared towards emerging markets, it could signal a new direction for BlackBerry, which at this point in time appears to be retaining and bringing back old loyalists in consumer, business and government markets. While a spokesman for the company has declined to comment on this report, The Globe and Mail has heard from sources that BlackBerry CEO John Chen is going to announce this tomorrow. High-end phones to be released later this year will apparently come bearing this belt as well. This is the first we’re hearing of it, and while it may seem like a step back, it just might be the step BlackBerry needs to take in order to rein in its long lost customers.