BlackBerry: BB10 And Keyboard Phones Are Not Dead

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BlackBerry COO says reports of BB10’s death have been greatly exaggerated, says its mobile strategy extends beyond smartphones into the IoT

BlackBerry says it is absolutely committed to the BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system and physical keyboard smartphones, despite the discontinuation of the BlackBerry Classic last week

Chief Operating Officer Marty Beard said reports that the company was abandoning the pillars of its mobile strategy were simply not true and wanted to set the record straight.

“BlackBerry is not backing away from BB10,” he declared, adding that BB 10.3.3 would further enhance privacy and security and that a roadmap for 207 was in place. “Our customers depend on the BB10 platform and they are the ones that drive our roadmap.

“That is why we are committed to not just maintaining BB10 software, but advancing it to be even more secure and provide even greater productivity.”

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BlackBerry classic“Let me explain why BlackBerry’s device strategy is truly unique. Our view is that the rapidly growing mobile environment is quickly being encompassed by an IoT world that requires‎ both strong security and connectivity.

“We wanted to merge the best of BlackBerry with Android – the notion of a new merged BlackBerry platform meant we would provide the security and connectivity BlackBerry is known for, with the content available in the Android ecosystem – all in one environment.

“BlackBerry is the only one with this unique flavour of smartphone in the market today. PRIV was the first iteration…and soon there will be others.”

Beard also rejected the suggestion that the end of the Classic was a sign that smartphone users had moved away from QWERTY keyboards. He said the Passport and Android-based Priv were still available and that so long as there was demand, BlackBerry would continue to make keyboard devices.

BlackBerry was once the market leader in smartphones but its market share has shrunk to less than one percent in recent times. While Apple, Samsung and others were able to erode BlackBerry’s advantage in security and compliance, the perpetually-delayed launch of BB10 meant the Canadian manufacturer was unable to offer devices that had the features end users desired.

CEO John Chen has repeatedly cast doubt on the future of its handset business and has reportedly given it until the end of the year to be profitable.

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