The BlackBerry KEYone, the upcoming Android-based smartphone with the company’s familiar physical keyboard, was officially announced in late February at MWC 2017. At the time, BlackBerry and the phone’s manufacturer, TCL Communications, said the KEYone would go on sale in April. Now it looks like we will have to wait a while longer to get our hands on this phone.
As reported by MobileSyrup, BlackBerry CEO John Chen held a conference call with financial analysts today to talk about the company’s fiscal fourth quarter 2017 earnings. During the call, Chen said that TCL would begin their first manufacturing production for the KEYone run sometime at the end of April. As a result, Chen said the KEYone’s “worldwide availability is going to be later than May.” There’s no word as to why the production run on the phone got delayed.
When the BlackBerry KEYone does launch, it will have a 4.5-inch display, a 2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of onboard storage, with a microSD card slot for adding up to 2 TB of additional storage. It will also have a 12 MP rear camera, an 8 MP front-facing camera and a 3,505 mAh battery. It will ship with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
The biggest feature for the phone is the physical keyboard that looks very much like the ones on classic BlackBerry devices. It will include support for touch gestures designed to emulate the Blackberry trackpad, and users can take advantage of up to 52 customizable shortcuts so they can quickly launch apps without using the touchscreen. The keyboard will also have a fingerprint scanner built into the spacebar. The BlackBerry KEYone is scheduled to be priced at $549 when it does launch in the US.
Blackberry’s revenue for its last fiscal quarter was $286 million, which was slightly below those numbers from a year ago, but still beat prior expectations. The company recorded a net loss of $47 million, which was much better than the $238 million loss it had a year ago, and again today’s numbers were better than expected.