Blackberry users began squirming in their seats yesterday morning during the keynote when RIM confirmed that the Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha device is, in fact, running the latest version of the Blackberry OS.
The demonstrations of the device and the Blackberry 10 features showed off a tremendously fluid user interface and virtual experience, but there was one blinding problem. The Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha device is purely a touchscreen candy-bar style phone, a physical keyboard was absent.
RIM has always offered Blackberry devices that included a hardware keyboard in the past. It’s understandable, and only natural, that worry would wrack a community which has grown accustomed to a physical keyboard on their mobile devices, especially when it comes to the public demonstration of a touchscreen mobile device that includes only virtual keyboard support.
Thorsten Heins, CEO of Research In Motion, confirmed this morning during a press exclusive Q&A session that RIM will be releasing Blackberry 10 devices with a physical keyboard. His confirmation puts to rest the rumors that Blackberry 10 will be a touchscreen exclusive. For those of you still holding your breath, you can now release.
“I can confirm that the physical keyboard will be an option in the Blackberry 10 portfolio.”
Heins went on further to say that while developing BB10 RIM focused on one question.
“What is the ideal typing experience on a Blackberry?”
The Blackberry experience was designed with this specific approach in mind. It’s no secret that typing is a core component of the Blackberry platform.
“We want the typing experience on the Blackberry to be the best in the world, whether that be on a physical keyboard or a virtual keypad.”
Several times during the keynote yesterday morning, Heins hinted at the idea that the Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha device was only one of many products to come. But it wasn’t until this morning at the Q&A that he officially confirmed it.
“Make no mistake we only showed you one element of what the future of Blackberry will be, there are other elements to come.”
So, for those of you who have been erupting in fear, loathing and just pure nerd rage, you can relax your minds. The Blackberry 10 device lineup will include devices with a physical keyboard.