Blackberry certainly have enough sales of software to continue, and TCL has through the brand a reliable fanbase; and I disagree that these are primarily enterprise, I think it is mostly keyboard fans, and sole business folk.
But growth? That will require a little innovation. The slider format, in some fashion should be considered. PDA style devices collect millions in crowdfunding right at this time. Something with a portrait slider, or like the previous androids, under the screen.
If they insist on the key3, they might consider some proof ratings, at least, and work on that camera.
However, what I am kind of suprised they have missed, is the ongoing popularity of their bold/bbos devices in the second hand market, both in developing markets and in the west. A solid bold/classic style device aimed at the budget market, running say kaiOS, or android GO (and html5 either way), could sell gangbusters. Nokia sold 10 million feature phones of their revived classic range in a single year globally.
Yes, premium, enterprise, makes sense. But blackberry has sold terribly well in the past in places like india, and africa, and right now there are basically NO qwerty feature phones outside of the jola phone 2. They could make enough money, with a solid implementation of KaiOS, their patented trackpad, and say, a superior camera (8, 12MP?) to easily call this revival a win, between that, and their more tailored android experience.
OS: Anndroid? nn? I'm not trying to point out misspelling lol, Anyways it's a company that every smartphone person would love see them use the lastest chipsets and components out there 8gb ram, LTE CAT 18, USB 3.1 Snapdragon 845., It's one of the pioneer companies like Motorola, Palm etc...
Jon.SWE, 31 Aug 2018Regarding the mentioning of the S8 Keyboard case;
Since Samsung never released any version fo... moreGoodness! Your comment is about as long as a full section of a GSM Arena device review!
It's very informative though!
Regarding the mentioning of the S8 Keyboard case;
Since Samsung never released any version for the Note8 we can be quite sure that they at least for the time being has dropped that accessory.
I think that is unfortunate.
At least if they also stop development on the concept, because it had a few things going for it, so it would have been interesting to see how good it could get. Because I dont believe Samsung reached that level.
The technology was just triggered the keys on the on-screen keyboard, by pressing, it engaged the capacitivity of the key, emulating pressing on the screen.
The upsides of this technology;
It is passive, so it doesnt need battery powering like a Bluetooth keyboard would.
It could also be made thinner and lighter than a Bluetooth keyboard because it doesnt need the power system and electronics.
It could be made cheaper (though the prices werent necessarily lower than a cheap Bluetooth keyboard).
And it could probably be made IP rated, without a lot of effort. And even if it wasnt, it would not in any way affect the IP rating on the device it sits upon, and if it is cheap enough, it would not be a big expense getting a new one, if it was water damaged.
Compared to the BlackBerry solution, it also meant that display could keep a typical aspect ratio, and thus work well for media when the keyboard wasnt on the screen (here though, I think it would have been acceptable if Blackberry would have made a 16:9 screen with on-screen navigation, and the new wider than 16:9 screens arent really necessary for any media format).
Because of the nature of it being an accessory, that isnt that expensive to produce, there would be potential for local versions, using special character that arent in the English qwerty standard, as well as different layouts compared to qwerty, used in some regions. In theory, there could even be custom design, for other uses than as a typical keyboard, for special use cases.
One of the downsides of the implementation of the Samsung system was the lack of backlight. But with the right design and a special on-screen keyboard mode for when it was mounted on the screen, should allow for the screen to light up and let light pass through the keys, if they were partly transparent (with an OLED screen, it would be possible to limit the numbers of pixels that are lit up, to correspond to the keys, to save energy).
Sensitivity and keyboard action was apparently not that good. But I think that is another matter of perfecting the design. It would perhaps never reach the level of response of an active physical keyboard, but given there are some benefits to this solution, it could still be a valid alternative. But it has to reach a level where the user when gotten used to the keys, would prefer it over using the on-screen keyboard, and that doesnt seem to have been the case. But I absolutely think it could. But it also has to feel good enough, so the potential users give it the time needed to get used to using physical keys again.
Well if they stayed with the concept, they could probably slim down the system, to some degree. But it would always add a bit of bulk. In relation to something like the Key2/LE, it would still have the bigger display, when the keyboard is at the back, or left in a pocket or in a bag, so it would probably not have an overall cubic volume bigger than a design with as big screen and a keyboard, but such large device would probably not be made, so it does make the device bulky, but at least there is the option of putting the keyboard in another pocket, but the size might risk for it to be left behind. Thus it would need to be good enough for the users to be willing to actually use it.
The system also means that it only works with cases tailored for it. Samsun only made the one with the keyboard in the package, and it did not offer the protective features of other cases. Perhaps they could have designed a case where above the keyboard, there would be a super-clear plastic, so that when the keyboard was on the front, it would also protects the display, and making that the default position of the keyboard, when in the pocket, while the clear plastic cover would still allow for it to be used. Requiring it to be slid a bit when on the back, if the camera was going to be used.
At least they should have made an option with corners offering impact protection and a raised profile in an attempt to protect the screen, that alternative would have needed to include the actual keyboard. If the design was smart, it could be an option for protecting the device that simply was also compatible with the keyboard.
It would not be possible to complete remove the bulk of the solution, but with the right thought going in to it, they could have improved it a lot.
It also offers the option of leaving the keyboard behind, at the office, or in the work clothes, work bag, or for that night out, if it is simply a personal device, so in that regard, making the keyboard an accessory can be a good advantage.
The actual keys themselves could probably not be made touch sensitive, for swipe gestures, for scroll, selecting words or general control of the system. And with the height difference of the keys and the screen, reaching for the screen too often would not be comfortable.
However, having the right control keys, and perhaps some kind of navigation dedicated strip on the side/s, could have probably made the system much less dependent on having to reach for the screen.
I really would have liked to see how good such a system could have been made, with enough effort going in to it.
I do think as an accessory, a passive solution does make a lot of sense. There could be ways of actively powering it, by wireless transferring of energy. But if made active there is just that much more that has to go in to the unit, driving costs up thus decreasing the sales potential, and making it much more sensitive to water damage.
Because of the technology, there should not be any patents that hinder other makers from making something like it. So it could make sense for BlackBerry, to make all-screen-slab smartphone, with that as an accessory (perhaps included in the package). It could also make sense for Huawei to make such an accessory, for a business oriented segment in their portfolio. And how about Apple, they have a lot of business users It would probably not be possible for a 3rd party maker to make one for iPhones, since the keyboard layout on the screen would have to be adopted.
Anonymous, 30 Aug 2018400 EUR, still? oof... that keyboard must be an awfully expensive implementation. or maybe it'... moreto continue on my comment.
TCL that bought the Blackberry brand should have known that it was a nisch brand, so it would not be a matter of just putting the BlackBerry sticker on a few devices, to make money out of the purchase.
So it would make little sense for them, not to have a long time strategy for the brand. And a long time strategy should involve taking some R&D costs and putting them on to the future, by being able to use the R&D for future products.
Thus they are probably doing the best they can, to keep prices down.
But I do think not going for 16:9 screen, on screen navigation, and a slightly taller device was a really bad move (considering that the current solution has some app compatibility issues, as well as being really bad for any video consumption).
So perhaps they do have some issues with strategy.
Anonymous, 30 Aug 2018400 EUR, still? oof... that keyboard must be an awfully expensive implementation. or maybe it'... moreI do think the keyboard is mostly to blame for the cost... By being a low volume, not off-the shelf product, while still being electronic and mechanical, and not just a piece of glass or plastic in order to differentiate by design.
That is not to say, that if there were more competition, that no maker would be able to make a comparable product cheaper, while still having the equal or better keyboard. I don't think it is a matter of keeping margins high, due to sales volume, because they should be aware that they would have probably been able to sell many more devices if they would lower the cost.
On the camera, they could have always mounted a single camera in the same slot. Making the slot unnecessarily big, but I don't think there is a big difference in costs, between a single and a dual camera setup... and since it is a "budget" version, putting that difference in to improving the lens would not really make sense either. All in all, it would have only been marginally cheaper, and it would still end up, at the same List-price, with just a few dollars lower street price maximum.
Well, anything over 300 seems too expensive for that phone.
400 EUR, still? oof... that keyboard must be an awfully expensive implementation. or maybe it's just the low volume nature of a niche product like this. i also thought, why didn't they cut down the camera to a single module, the target audience probably doesn't care about dual cams. but i guess they'd have had to make new back panels for that, the change in tooling for which being more expensive than a high volume order of basic camera modules