When TCL finally announced the BlackBerry Keyone at MWC last month, the official release time frame for the handset was said to be April. However, it now looks like the QWERTY-endowed Android smartphone might get delayed by at least one month.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the following regarding the Keyone at the company’s earnings call earlier:
The second one, that TCL announced at Mobile World Congress which is the physical keyboard on an Android, that one is not going to be slated to ship until probably the May timeframe. I think the first manufacturing production run is at the end of April. So the product looks pretty good, but the worldwide availability is going to be later than May.
So there you have it. If you’ve been impatiently waiting for the first Android smartphone in a long while to come with a physical QWERTY keyboard, your wait just got longer unfortunately.
Moving on, Chen also mentioned an intriguing prospect: a new BlackBerry-branded Android tablet being a possibility for the future. Here’s the relevant quote on the matter:
One of our partners are very excited to build a tablet based on Android, and so they wanted us to give them the portfolio rights to do that. I’m interested to do that because I’m going to get royalties for every tablet they ship. I will just leave it at that, and it’s not even that, we have to curate it, we have to do a lot of things on with it, so it’s not a 100% committed thing but it’s gonna come from our partners and BlackBerry will only receive royalty but it’s using our software and we do the QA and portfolio management, so I hope that clarifies that point.
So while it’s not a certainty at this point, it’s clearly something that very well could happen. Fans of both BlackBerry’s software suite and Android tablets will surely be excited for this one.
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