The Blackberry and its QWERTY Keyboard is Back!

In our last blog we gave you the heads up about the Nokia 3310 comeback and this week we’re bringing you news of yet another mobile revival. Be prepared to welcome the love-it-or-hate-it Blackberry back in 2017!

Back in 2016 Blackberry announced its plans to end the production of its handsets and outsource development to its partners, TCL, in China. True to their word, later in the year Alcatel owner, TCL, launched the Blackberry DTEK50 and DTEK60 and shortly after, in December, Blackberry Ltd. signed a deal which gave the brand rights to the Chinese company.

Ready or not, here it comes…

2017 is set to see the return of the iconic ‘QWERTY’ keyboard which was so infamous with the 2002 Blackberry 5810. The new ‘Key One’ features the android system, a camera sensor and a gesture-sensitive keyboard complete with a hidden fingerprint sensor. Driving the brand forward with a “passion for hardware… [and a] passion for devices”, Nicolas Ziebell, Chief Executive of TCL Communications, said he believes they have “one of the best flagship devices in the market”.

So, it would seem that 14 years after the very first Blackberry, TCL are putting their all into the new Key One. Only time will tell whether it’s a success or not, but jousting by Blackberry’s past history, they’ve got a tough job ahead, especially as this year is Apple’s 10th anniversary. Let’s take a trip down memory lane….

• 2002 – heralded as the first ever smartphone, Blackberry launched the 5810 complete with QWERTY keyboard and phone, email and web browser capability.
• 2007 – Blackberrys now had colour screens, cameras and improved mobile web browsers, making them impressively popular in the business world and amongst celebrities.
• June 2007 – Blackberry’s luck was about to change with Steve Jobs announcing the first Apple iPhone complete with full web browser.
• November 2008 – in an attempt to fight back, Blackberry launched the ‘Storm’, a touch screen phone with numerous issues. Critics were quick to point out its slow and glitchy nature but despite this Blackberry continued to enjoy increased market share until 2010.
• April 2011 – Blackberry tried its luck in the tablet market with the ‘Playbook’ but fell short and disappointed critics with a lack of calendar or email client. By December Blackberry had written off millions of unsold tablets and the company’s two chief executives stepped down.
• January 2013 – eager to win back loyal customers, Blackberry created the BB10, its new mobile operating system, but 6 years after the launch of the first iPhone, it was too little too late and the phone struggled to attract app developers.
• October 2015 – Blackberry introduced the ‘Priv’, its first android powered handset. Sales were disappointing and the phone was too expensive – not to mention being 7 years behind the first android handset.

A Blackberry and a Cherry up a Tree…

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