Yesterday, Steve Cistulli, President & GM of TCL Communication in North America, tweeted a four second video of a new BlackBerry smartphone featuring a physical keyboard which the company was expected to launch today in the next few days. TCL did unveil the phone today and let visitors at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas try it out, but it stopped short of giving the phone a name or announcing its specifications, features, pricing or release date.
Enjoy our official first look at what’s to come from the newest BlackBerry smartphone. More to come at MWC. pic.twitter.com/gHkwepCPbJ— Steve Cistulli (@SteveCistulli) January 4, 2017
Enjoy our official first look at what’s to come from the newest BlackBerry smartphone. More to come at MWC. pic.twitter.com/gHkwepCPbJ
As per a recent tweet by Cistulli, details of the new BlackBerry smartphone will be revealed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in late February. The tweet is also accompanied by a 20 second video showing the smartphone from all angles. From what we know so far, the phone is code-named 'Mercury' and features a physical QWERTY keyboard, a 3:2 aspect display screen, a 4.5-inch display, 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM, a 2GHz Qualcomm processor and 18-MP front and rear cameras. Since TCL hasn't confirmed the specification set, the rumours will remain rumours until the company will make a fresh announcement next month at MWC.
BlackBerry's next Android phone to sport QWERTY keyboard
A number of publications are speculating that the BlackBerry phone will be named 'Mercury' but in his tweet yesterday, Cistulli highlighted the word 'PRESS' in capital letters which also suggested that the upcoming phone could be named as such. Given how the phone looks, it could be a premium version of the DTEK60 or could be another mid-range venture but there's no way we can confirm it now.
Last 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. With Cistulli's revelation, we are now sure that BlackBerry intends to keep the physical keyboard cycle running but given that significant sales are still elusive, it will be interesting to see how long the company would want to stick to the concept.