Blackberry may finally be preparing to launch a new QWERTY keyboard-equipped handset, the company’s first since the Q10 was announced in January 2013.
The handset, spotted by TechCrunch, is mentioned in the Blackberry 10.3 SDK release, which also refers to a 1440 x 1440 resolution. That resolution matches up with recent rumors about a phone code-named Windermere. According to a BGR report from February, while the oddly shaped handset will have a physical keyboard, it will only have three rows of keys instead of four, and all keys will be touch-sensitive, making Swype-style typing possible. Atop that short keyboard could be a square 4.5-inch touchscreen. Based on the rumors so far, Windermere could be Blackberry’s new flagship handset.
Although Blackberry tried to transition its business last year to a more touch-friendly smartphone lineup, neither the flagship Z10 nor the Q10 sold well, and in November, former CEO Thorsten Heins was fired and current CEO John Chen was installed. Chen seems to have much more zeal for QWERTY phones. “The focus is going to be very keyboard-centric,” Chen told Reuters in March.
Earlier this year, Blackberry rereleased the Bold 9900, a QWERTY device that was first available in 2011 and runs an old Blackberry operating system. On Tuesday, Blackberry announced an inexpensive touchscreen handset that is exclusive to Indonesia and is called the Z3 Jakarta.
It’s unknown when Blackberry plans to announce this new handset, but since it’s in the SDK, chances are you’ll be hearing about it soon.