Chen is currently testing a prototype of a new phone designed in-house
In a round-table discussion with reporters at BlackBerry’s Waterloo headquarters, Chen let reporters know that BlackBerry may release one more BlackBerry-designed phone. Obviously, work on the phone started well before the recent announcement, and has reached the point where they have a functioning prototype. It appears it has a physical keyboard too. Chen is currently testing it. As he said:
The one with the keyboard, I guess it’s kind of resting in my office… I’m testing it right now,
There was no mention of which OS it runs. He did say that some carriers had seen the device, and that he was waiting for those carriers to get back to him with a business case before he decides whether to release the device or not.
We’re not making any announcement of whether there is one or isn’t one. There exists in this world one,
We’ll go from there, we’ll make a decision from there,
The part that I found most interesting, is this statement:
I guess if I decided to go ahead with the phone, then that might be the last BlackBerry-designed phone in terms of hardware,
So after the Dtek60 and this prototype phone, there might be more BlackBerry-designed phones ? Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue. Perhaps he’s just being cautious not to close any doors permanently — as the old adage goes: “never say never”. That would be the smart thing to do, given how uncertain the future of the industry is.
Now all this may come as a surprise to some people. But keep in mind, while BlackBerry did say they were going to stop designing phone hardware in house, they never said they would stop it immediately. In fact, the plan is to stop designing phone hardware in-house by the end of the fiscal year, which is February 28, 2017.
In the meantime, as BlackBerry fans, your best bet is to be patient and, of course, let BlackBerry and Chen know that you want them to release more phones. :-)
Source: The Financial Post