BlackBerry new market strategy calls for building software only for future Android devices but it seems the Canadian enterprise wants to try one last shot at the smartphone market before quitting the hardware business altogether. When the DTEK60 was launched, we were led to believe that it was going to be the last BlackBerry-made phone to launch in the market, but a couple of leaked images suggest that BlackBerry still has yet another phone which it plans to launch soon.
As per the new images, the upcoming phone, code-named Mercury, will have a 3:2 aspect display screen as well as a physical keyboard, but not a slide-out one like in the Priv. According to First Post, the phone will arrive with a 4.5-inch display, 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM, a 2GHz Qualcomm processor and 18-MP front and rear cameras. The leaked specifications do suggest that it could be a low-cost Android phone but the tiny display does raise questions on if it will be able to grab enough eyeballs or even get noticed in the first place.
It's not that we haven't heard about Mercury before. News about the phone leaked back in September and apart from the specification list which checks out with the one claimed by First Post, the phone is also expected to arrive with a mammoth 3,400 mAh battery. While it is not yet clear if BlackBerry will develop the device itself, from what BlackBerry's bosses have confirmed time and again, we believe that Mercury is being designed and developed by a third party manufacturer who may have obtained licencing for a physical QWERTY keyboard as well.
Earlier this year, BlackBerry CEO John Chen told BNN that even after handset manufacturing is outsourced, the company's iconic physical QWERTY keyboard will 'continue on' and that the company will license the manufacturing rights of QWERTY keyboards to its partners. This meant that no matter who manufactured BlackBerry devices, the QWERTY keyboard will continue to live on. This understanding was reinforced when a new BlackBerry patent suggested that not only will the physical keyboard continue in its future phones, but the phones will also feature new technologies to remain competitive in the hard-fought smartphone market. The patent was obtained for a new touch-sensitive keyboard which will serve as a mode of authentication for unlocking phones.
Source: First Post