The Galaxy S8, one of Android’s biggest releases for the year. The other is the BlackBerry KeyOne, the phone that will play a big role in deciding the company’s future. Unfortunately, the latter has been BlackBerry KeyOne delayed.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the following regarding the Keyone at the company’s earnings call earlier:
“The second one, that TCL announced at Mobile World Congress which is the physical keyboard on an Android, that one is not going to be slated to ship until probably the May timeframe. I think the first manufacturing production run is at the end of April. So the product looks pretty good, but the worldwide availability is going to be later than May.”
So there you have it. If you’ve been impatiently waiting for the first Android smartphone in a long while to come with a physical QWERTY keyboard, your wait just got longer unfortunately.
In an earnings call earlier today, Crackberry noted that BlackBerry had mentioned that the KeyOne is set to go into production toward the end of April with the full release being pushed to May of this year. Of course, the April release wasn’t set in stone, so it shouldn’t be too much of a shock that BlackBerry is pushing things back just a bit.
Moving on, Chen also mentioned an intriguing prospect: a new BlackBerry-branded Android tablet being a possibility for the future. Here’s the relevant quote on the matter:
“One of our partners are very excited to build a tablet based on Android, and so they wanted us to give them the portfolio rights to do that. I’m interested to do that because I’m going to get royalties for every tablet they ship. I will just leave it at that, and it’s not even that, we have to curate it, we have to do a lot of things on with it, so it’s not a 100% committed thing but it’s gonna come from our partners and BlackBerry will only receive royalty but it’s using our software and we do the QA and portfolio management, so I hope that clarifies that point.”
If you’ll recall, the BlackBerry KeyOne, formerly known as “Mercury,” was unveiled back at MWC 2017 as BlackBerry’s next Android smartphone, and the latest built in collaboration with TCL. The device has a physical keyboard that doubles as a trackpad and fingerprint sensor, and a 4.5-inch display up above it.
It’s a classic BlackBerry design like in the days when they dominated the market, and fans of the company have reason to be excited for this one and are probably willing to wait. Of course, we’ll just have to wait and see how this delay affects the potential sales