BlackBerry may be in the process of being bought out as part of a $4.7 billion deal, and it may have plans to lay off some 4,500 staff in the future, but it looks as though new phones are still on the horizon.
The first is this QWERTY keyboard-sporting handset, leaked courtesy of BGR. The phone looks like an even more affordable version of the Q5; BlackBerry’s current entry level BlackBerry 10 phone. It’s very similar in size and shape, mixing the classic BlackBerry keyboard with a small 4:3 screen.
According to the site that leaked the phone, it’s currently known as the ‘Kopi’ at BlackBerry and will fall into the Q series of phones which currently includes the flagship Q10 and the more affordable Q5. BGR also claims that the phone will feature a removable battery and will not support the faster 4G connectivity that other BlackBerry 10 models do.
BlackBerry recently announced plans to take a step back from the mainstream consumer market with mobile phones, and part of this move will result in its product portfolio shrinking from 6 phones to 4, in terms of BlackBerry 10 devices at least. We’ve just witnessed the reveal of the 5-inch Z30 and we already have the Z10, Q10 and Q5, so we’re not quite sure where this new model fits in with the company’s new plans just yet.
It’s likely that the Kopi will be priced under £200 and will be designed for pay as you go customers who can buy the phone outright, and developing markets where the BlackBerry brand is still very popular.
Asides from the Kopi, another more basic model is said to be in the works. This time offering a full touchscreen without a QWERTY key in sight, the unnamed phone has appeared via bbin.in. The site claims the phone will be part of a new series from BlackBerry called the ‘C Series’, which presumably relates to the company’s long-running Curve range.
So that’s two more basic phones in the works at BlackBerry but with buyouts and staff cuts currently filling the headlines, we’re not expecting either to hit the shelves any time soon.