In January last year, then BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins took the wraps off its first touchscreen smartphone - the BlackBerry Z10. But Heins also announced a new QWERTY-touting phone called the Q10. For some reason, the former was made available first in the market, and the latter was released a little late.
Expectations were high, and, unfortunately, the Z10 didn't meet most of them. By the time the Q10 was released, it was overshadowed by Apple's iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C as well as other top-notch Android phones. Finally, after suffering a $934 million loss, the once dominant smartphone company decided to quit the high-end consumer market and opted to focus on where it is gaining the upper hand: the business and government sector.
In an interview with Bloomberg, new CEO John Chen said that the company's future phones will “predominantly” have physical keyboards. “I personally love the keyboards,” he added. Now that the roadmap is clear, it will be easier to understand why BlackBerry filed a lawsuit against the Ryan Seacrest-backed startup Typo which recently announced a physical keyboard for the iPhone.
Last month, John Chen announced a five-year contract with Foxconn to outsource and manufacture some of its upcoming smartphones. “Foxconn can be a really great partner, not only to eliminate my inventory risk, but also their ability to penetrate various different markets, call it the developing and emerging markets,” Chen told Bloomberg.