BlackBerry Plans a Keyboard-Free Comeback

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In the modern tech war between the iPhone and Droid dynasties, it’s only reasonable for tech lovers to quickly write off any third party attempts at giving these titans a run for their . On January 30, 2013, these skeptics were introduced to the BlackBerry 10. The makers of BlackBerry, Research in Motion, also made the shocking announcement that it would change its business name to BlackBerry.

The BlackBerry 10 has made a complete overhaul of the usual BlackBerry format. Most notably, the BlackBerry z10 (the featured product of the two new BlackBerry phones) lacks a physical keyboard, a feature that has always been a staple of BlackBerry products. Given these radical moves, it seems clear that the once dominant, now struggling BlackBerry is aiming to reclaim its seat at the throne of the smartphone world. But its move to a touch-screen only platform brings up the question of whether BlackBerry is bringing something new to the table or simply copying the successful platform of its competitors.

While past BlackBerry formats were cluttered with buttons, the Z10 has fewer buttons than the most popular iPhone and Android phones. In fact, it doesn’t even have a “home” button. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins claims that the white virtual keys and black background of the BlackBerry 10 provide “The best typing experience in the industry, period.” Will a stellar typing experience be enough to bring BlackBerry up to the ranks of the iOS and Android products? I would guess probably not on its own. If the BlackBerry 10 succeeds, it will happen through creating exceptional support and security features and making the right decisions about the applications it makes available. BlackBerry has not said much that would suggest their new product was created with these goals in mind. Nonetheless, I’m not willing to dismiss the BlackBerry 10 as a failure just this second. What do you think? Do BlackBerries still stand a shot in a world ruled by iPhones and Androids?

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