BlackBerry is set to launch a new touchscreen smartphone in October, according to manufacturer TCL’s head of global sales Francois Mahieu.
The unnamed device will follow the well-received KEYone, which featured a physical keyboard.
It is hoped that the new device will boost BlackBerry’s position in the touchscreen market, which is currently dominated by Apple and Samsung.
According to CNET, two of the most significant criticisms of BlackBerry – before it handed over hardware manufacturing duties to TCL – were that it did not react quickly enough to changes in the smartphone market and that it was unable to keep pace with rivals who released new smartphones.
TCL will now be producing a new high-end device to compete with those companies.
BlackBerry’s last touchscreen phones, the DTEK50 and DTEK60, were mid-range devices and weren’t attractive enough to consumers to boost BlackBerry’s reputation in the market. However, with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 having been unveiled in the last few weeks, new iPhones being launched soon and Google and LG revealing new phones, BlackBerry will have a great deal of competition.
TCL is to introduce water resistance to the new device, something that hasn’t been done with a BlackBerry phone before. It will also reportedly feature a battery that can last for up to 26 hours. According to Mr Mahieu, this durability and longevity will appeal to those who have had enough of other smartphones that don’t last long. He said he expects a number of iPhone and Samsung users to “make the switch” to BlackBerry when the new phone is released.
Whether his prediction comes true remains to be seen, but the industry will be eagerly awaiting the release of the new device to establish whether BlackBerry might be on track for a resurgence.