BlackBerry has turn-around hopes running high on KeyBoard-toting Q10 model

BlackBerry returns to roots with physical keyboard

BlackBerry returns to roots with physical keyboard

Since the beginning, RIM has been intuitive of function features that its users would expect on their much-loved smartphone BlackBerry. True to form, despite the slew of disappointments in the past few years, the BlackBerry maker has persisted in introducing changes to the latest model of smartphone the Q10. This model is the second in the series to run on the latest version of the proprietary operating system called Q10 and has brought along a physical keyboard for use.

Much loved BBM Qwerty-keyboard

RIM has from the first model included hugely ergonomic Qwerty-keyset on its smartphone sets. Given that BlackBerry had huge adoption by enterprises for its proprietary data security and in-messaging between BlackBerry owners, keyboard was a necessary feature it stuck to despite competitor models switching to touch-based screens.

Recognizing that many users are simply more comfortable with the tactile appeal, swiftness and the accuracy of pushbuttons, RIM has included the physical keyboard in its latest model. Speaking on the reasons for adopting the physical model, Frank Boulben, chief marketing officer at RIM, commented: “We’re convinced there is a significant segment of the market who prefers to have a physical keyboard, We want to continue to serve that segment.”

Additionally, to remain relevant to its touch-based user segment, RIM has smartly included the touch-based features as well. Essentially the Q10 is a hybrid model that incorporates the physical keyboard as well as a 3.1 inch touchscreen.

Loads of features

BlackBerry has ensured that most of the other features appeal to the entire cross-section of consumers and has included several of the popular social media network apps- Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare as well as YouTube. A noteworthy feature of this new model is the BlackBerry Hub – nothing to sneeze at. This is of great importance in the user experience, given that most of the home buttons are no longer available and only swipes would help in navigation. Furthermore, the Blackberry Hub would operate as a central location where all of the apps from emails, chats, phone calls can all operate without having to be closed out to access the next.

Pew study on smartphone user demographic

What’s more, the findings presented by the respected Pew Research Center indicated that nearly 56 percent of American adults had smartphones which was not shocking at all. Of these there are two distinct groups of smartphone users – with staggering 81 percent of young adults aged 20 to 34 years owning smartphones. Besides, a significant percentage of Americans in 40-50 age groups were found to own a smartphone. The report also found that there was even a intriguing split between the numbers of US users who used iPhones and Android smartphones. Interestingly, the report also found that BlackBerry had lost much of its previous clout and had only 4 percent of cellphone-owning US adults used BlackBerry devices.

Taking cognizance of the reports and similar industry studies, the BlackBerry maker appears to be righting the wrong and including features that appeal to its user base. The BlackBerry 10 Operating System is expected to turn the company to better results and touting a keyboard it is a question of time before BlackBerry is back in the reckoning.

Richard Meryn
Richard Meryn, Associate Editor Industry Leaders Magazine (www.industryleadersmagazine.com)

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