First BlackBerry 10 phone won't have a QWERTY keyboard
The Washington Post is reporting on a curious decision by RIM - the first BlackBerry 10 device to launch will be touchscreen-only. RIM isn't abandoning their trademark - the full hardware QWERTY keyboard - as such devices will still come later on.
While it's true that touch-only devices running iOS or Android are taking BlackBerry's lunch money, the solid typing experience is one of the main reasons people still buy a BlackBerry.
In fact, with most droids forsaking the physical keyboard (and iPhones which never had one), a BlackBerry is one of the few options for people who hate typing on virtual keyboards.
RIM already have a touch-only design for a BlackBerry 10 phone, the developer alpha unit they unveiled in May. One analyst from Jeffries says that BB 10 is all about catching up with Apple in terms of touch and multimedia experience.
He goes on to add "They are going to build a BlackBerry device with a keyboard, but itís just going to take longer. Maybe it will come a month or two after, but frankly it might be already too late."
Any way you cut it, starting with a touch-only BlackBerry is a gamble. And while the company is not in a good position to lose a bet, if it pays off RIM might start reclaiming some of that lost marketshare.