Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) gained quite a powerful reputation in the mobile world for its world-class physical keyboard, which has developed its own group of loyal fans over the years. While BlackBerry has lost a lot of market share over the last 10-15 years – which could be attributed mainly to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its iPhone creation – there has always been that cadre of users who continue to swear by the physical QWERTY keyboard that BlackBerry puts on most of their devices.
Which made it real interesting that when Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) introduced its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, it decided to release its new Z10 touchscreen device first, following by the QWERTY Z10. As the mobile device world has been very much associated with touchscreens in the last couple of years, BlackBerry clearly wanted to appeal to more of the general audience of consumers. But as BlackBerry has maintained a presence in government and the enterprise, the company might have gone out of its comfort zone.
Image: Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)
Then, though, finally the Q10 was unveiled last week in the U.K. and will be on store shelves in Canada Wednesday. And initial reports out of the U.K. are that the Q10 is posting much more traffic and sales number than the Z10 did, and there are suggestions that might continue in Canada this week. And all because of a physical keyboard?
It’s an interesting theory, and it certainly can’t hurt Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) to have a feature for which it is recognized.
However, in some BlackBerry fanboy forums, many users have commented that they were holding out for a Q10 because they didn’t like virtual keyboards. But it seems that what these fanboys are forgetting is that those virtual keyboards, before now, were made the companies not known for quality keyboards.
Should they be surprised if BlackBerry made a virtual keyboard that may be as good (if not better) than a physical keyboard? A video on YouTube (seen on the next page) at least attempts to make a comparison between the two, but the point of this is … maybe these fanboys were being a little premature in presuming that the virtual keyboard made by BlackBerry – known for keyboards – would be automatically inferior to the physical keyboard based solely on the virtual keyboards made by Samsung, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and others – those which did not have strong reputations for their keyboards in general, physical or otherwise.
What are your thoughts? now that the Q10 is out, can this be the device that saves Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), if not actually make it relevant in the smartphone space? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Check out the video comparison on the next page: