2017 may be the year that QWERTY becomes more than an antiquated relic in the mobile world, not to mention a laughably easy-to-hack password beloved by criminals.
That’s because the nation’s fourth-largest smartphone marker showed a prototype of a revamped BlackBerry Android with a QWERTY keyboard at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show!
TCL cashing in on mobile nostalgia?
Before there were iPhones and Androids, there was BlackBerry.
At its peak around 2013, BlackBerry had a reported 85 million smartphone users. But today, the company is down to 23 million, according to BlackBerry’s most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen!
Yet this story might have another chapter left in it….
FierceWireless.com reports that smartphone maker TCL Communication hinted at plans to release a new round of BlackBerrys with the iconic (if outdated) QWERTY keyboard during CES in Las Vegas.
TCL, a Chinese-based company, is a bit player in the smartphone market here in the United States, playing fourth fiddle to the likes of Samsung, Apple and LG.
Privacy advocates have long worried about China spying on American citizens through its smartphones.
Thankfully, TCL says the core security functions of the phones will be handled in Canada by BlackBerry, not in China. So you can rest easy that the Red Army probably won’t be spying on you when you use this phone!
The new line of BlackBerrys with QWERTY keyboards reportedly will be targeted at enterprise customers, i.e. companies with 1,000 or more employees.
No further details or specs are available at this time, but we’ll keep you updated as they emerge!