With so much emphasis on the new virtual keyboard in the BlackBerry 10 operating system, it wasn’t clear whether Research In Motion (RIM) was giving up altogether on its highly-regarded physical keyboards. The company’s CEO has told reporters that there will indeed be devices running on BlackBerry 10 that use physical keyboards, but there are still unanswered questions.
In a press briefing following the BlackBerry World launch, CEO Thorsten Heins reassured reporters that the physical keyboard isn’t going away, which is one of the issues we raised in discussing BB10 yesterday. What I really need to know, however, is whether the physical keyboard will continue to be available on models that also have a full-sized touchscreen. BlackBerry took that approach with the original Torch, but more recently has saved the keyboard for smaller-screened Bold models, while making the Torch a screen-only affair. Me, I want the best of both worlds. I’ll happily take the extra weight for the ease of reading and typing. But we won’t know for sure until actual BlackBerry 10 models are launched, and that won’t be until later in the year.