The company received complaints last year when it released its Q10 with a physical keyboard, but no hard buttons for the function keys ‘menu,’ ‘back,’ ‘send,’ or ‘end.’ In response to this, BlackBerry designed the new Q20 with the familiar physical buttons for the keys, as well as an integrated track pad.
“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,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO, BlackBerry.
The company’s patented QWERTY keyboard design will be released in the BlackBerry Q20. According to BlackBerry, the new smartphone will be available in the second half of 2014.
The other device unveiled was the BlackBerry Z3 smartphone, a new all-touch BlackBerry 10 smartphone, which will be sold in Indonesia. The phone was developed through BlackBerry’s partnership with Foxconn.
Also at the Barcelona trade show, the smartphone maker announced a new enterprise service platform. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 (BES12) will unify BES10 and BES5 to one platform. In addition, BlackBerry introduced a new set of enterprise applications, and a new program that provides free migration to BES10.
The company also launched new offerings for its beloved BlackBerry Messenger service. It announced yesterday that BBM will be made available to Windows Phone and Nokia X customers. The ever popular BBM will be available as a free download from the Windows Phone Store this summer.
Additionally, BlackBerry introduced a new eBBM Suite for enterprise mobile messaging, as well as BBM Protected, a secure messaging service for regulated industries such as healthcare.
The new offerings are the latest to be released under BlackBerry’s new strategy, as the company moves to distance itself from consumer products and focus on enterprise only.
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