BlackBerry has revealed details of two new smartphones during Mobile World Congress 2014 this week.
The forthcoming BlackBerry Q20, which is due to become available during the second half of this year, will offer a QWERTY keyboard as well as physical buttons for ‘menu’, ‘back’, ‘send’ and ‘end’. There’ll be a trackpad for navigation as well as a 3.5-inch touchscreen.
Full specifications haven’t been released, although the new handset will run the BlackBerry 10 OS and is said to have ‘superior’ battery life.
John Chen, BlackBerry’s Executive Chairman and CEO, said “In my first 90 days on the job, I consistently heard from our ardent BlackBerry customers that the hard buttons and trackpad are an essential part of the BlackBerry QWERTY experience, that made their BlackBerry smartphone their go-to productivity tool. I want these customers to know that we heard them, and this new smartphone will be for them.”
A second smartphone has also been announced. The BlackBerry Z3 smartphone, which is a product of BlackBerry’s new relationship with Foxconn, is designed for customers in Indonesia. It has a 5-inch touch screen and will be loaded with locally-relevant content plus support for the Bahasa Indonesia language. Availability is planned for April.
In addition, BlackBerry is creating a new version of its BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES), which lets businesses manage corporate handsets and ‘bring your own device’ solutions. BES12 - due by the end of the year - will support customers who want to move from either the previous BES5 or BES10 platforms.