BlackBerry 10 To Be Touchscreen Only – A Big Gamble For RIM?

RIM is to introduce its very first BlackBerry 10 handset later this year and has just confirmed that the device will not feature the usual physical keyboard.

A spokesperson for the company made the announcement this week that the first BlackBerry 10 will be touchscreen only. What’s more, the statement made no mention of whether RIM will at any time be launching a version of the BlackBerry 10 with the company’s trademark keyboard.

Needless to say, the removal of the physical keyboard has provoked equally strong reactions from both sides of the fence, with the move being everything from inevitable to genius to corporate suicide and everything else besides.

The announcement itself came as no shock whatsoever, given the fact that all prototypes and demo models of the 10 have all been touchscreen devices.

What’s more, the primary features of the new BlackBerry 10 OS are all primarily focused on the touchscreen itself, as the company appears to make efforts to catch up with its Android and iOS rivals. Rather dated physical keyboards have long been seen by some as the BlackBerry’s primary turn-off for consumers and an unnecessary bind with the past.

However, on the other side of the fence are those suggesting that the physical keyboard is exactly why RIM still has a loyal customer of tens of millions even today. They argue that should RIM cut all said ties with tradition and remove the keyboard altogether, they leave little to no reason for their existing fan-base not to stray.

The launch will certainly be an interesting one therefore as a complete and total physical keyboard exclusion could herald RIM’s ticket back to greatness, or the final nail in its coffin.

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