BlackBerry to Refocus on Physical Keyboards, CEO Says

BlackBerry is poised to bring back its iconic physical keyboard in full force under the leadership of new chairman and interim CEO John Chen, who took over the reins from Thorsten Heins last year.

Chen made the announcement at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The executive says he “loves the keyboards,” and promised last month to return BlackBerry to “its roots and heritage,” of which the famous keyboard is no doubt a part of.

Moving forward, BlackBerry will be building devices “predominantly” with physical keyboards, though all-touch smartphones will still be included in the struggling company’s product lineup.

Despite mostly positive reviews of the software and hardware, BlackBerry 10 and its devices failed to resonate with consumers, mostly due to a lack of apps and the difficulty of gaining meaningful market traction in a space thoroughly dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

According to Chen, BlackBerry will return some emphasis to its corporate and government customers, who were largely responsible for the Waterloo-based company’s early success.