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New BlackBerry Smartphone with QWERTY Keyboard Ahead
Posted January 5, 2017
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By Samuel Gibbs. Updated January 5, 2017 8:40AM

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BlackBerry may have stopped making smartphones, but that hasn’t stopped BlackBerry smartphones from being made, with one expected to be called the BlackBerry Press to be announced at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

BlackBerry’s manufacturing partner TCL Communications Technology (TCT), which recently licensed the former RIM brand and makes smartphones under the Alcatel brand, is expected to announce a new BlackBerry -- and a teaser video shows it will come with the traditional qwerty keyboard.

TCT’s president of North America, Steve Cistulli, posted several teasers of the Press to his Twitter account.

imPRESSively designed. distinctly different. #BlackBerryMobile#CES2017pic.twitter.com/MGvvGXOtvi -- Steve Cistulli (@SteveCistulli) January 3, 2017

One more look… #BlackBerryMobile#CES2017pic.twitter.com/dSjVuMWd35 -- Steve Cistulli (@SteveCistulli) January 4, 2017

The new BlackBerry-branded smartphone will, like previously released BlackBerry smartphones the DTEK50 [pictured above] and DTEK60 also made by TCT, run BlackBerry’s version of Android and its messaging apps.

The Press will be the first TCT BlackBerry to have a qwerty keyboard and will continue the long run of BlackBerry devices with such a physical input device as well as a touchscreen, where other manufacturers, including Apple, Google and Huawei have shunned the hardware keyboard in favour of larger touchscreens with adaptive virtual keyboards.

BlackBerry’s ditching of its own BlackBerry operating system for Google’s Android was seen as a positive step, giving access to the wealth of apps within Google’s Play Store. Whether the device will be enough to attract the former lovers of BlackBerry’s physical keyboard that have since ditched the brand remains to be seen.

© 2017 Guardian Web syndicated under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.

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