Although their market share has decreased dramatically in the last four years, Blackberry still has a huge and loyal following, particularly in Europe. Which could explain why Blackberry 10 devices go on sale there as of today and the United States will have to wait until March to get their hands on one.
There were two new devices introduced for their highly publicized event. The most talked about was the Z10 which has touch screen features that consumers are now accustomed to on their current iPhones, Samsungs and other similar smartphone devices.
In an attempt to satisfy consumers who prefer a physical keyboard, Blackberry has come up with the Q10 which has a full physical QWERTY keyboard on the front interface of the device. Like their previous Blackberry Curve models, that’s still half a keyboard size on half a display size where the inclusion of a physical keyboard minimizes the screen size of the device. And while current Blackberry users may be accustomed to this, new users may not want to give up their entire touch screen size to accommodate a physical keyboard that they would otherwise desire .
The Q10’s screen size is 3.1-inch diagonally with a resolution of 720 by 720 pixels (330 pixels per inch) while the Z10 touch screen display size is 4.2-inch diagonally with a resolution of 1280 by 768 pixels (356 pixels per inch). The size and resolution that consumers would sacrifice should they choose the Q10 over the Z10, is significant.
Missing from the line-up of new Blackberry 10 models was a device with a full QWERTY slide-out keyboard. In 2010, Blackberry introduced the Torch 9800 model, the first with a vertical slide-out keyboard. Yet it doesn’t seem like they will launch a similar model any time soon. The Blackberry Torch 9800’s vertical slide-out keyboard allowed the entire screen to be enjoyed without compromising the size and resolution of the display.
On the other hand, there are consumers that will not accept anything less than a full-sized horizontal slide-out keyboard. After all, who wants to be pressing on those tiny buttons when the horizontal slide-out models provide bigger keys and much more finger room for those not-so-thin fingers.
Models like the Samsung Stratosphere and Captivate Glide offer a full-sized horizontal slide-out QWERTY keyboard, without compromising the screen size. Users don’t have to be constantly frustrated that they inadvertently pressed the wrong key because their fingers touched a different one. The best part is they can slide-in the keyboard when they’re not using it and take full advantage of the touch screen size, resolution and capabilities those models have.
But will Blackberry listen and satisfy consumers who insist on having a slide-out keyboard instead? Perhaps, but don’t hold your breath anytime soon. In the meantime, a compatible “Made in China” ultra-thin wireless keyboard for the new Blackberry Z10 will have to be suffice if Blackberry does not give consumers a choice.