back to article The BlackBerry may be dead, but others are lining up to take its place

Some time later this year, a TCL staffer will press the red button on the Blackberry brand phones production line and, unless another firm takes the reins, it'll be the end of the road for the humble BlackBerry. The iconic phone-with-a-keyboard helped popularise the smartmobe category, transforming it from the preserve of well …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't say I'm going to miss them as the Bold (OS 5) was the worst bug ridden phone I ever had, the most annoying of which would be it would lose cell tower connectivity and wouldn't come back until you rebooted it which got me a bollocking from the boss because he thought I was dodging him.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The physical-keyboard (phyboard, maybe?)

    Please don't.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I chortled at "humble BlackBerry".

    I'm old enough to remember a time of Really Important Managers proudly displaying their BlackBerries in very conspicuous pouches attached to their belts. Of them silencing you in the middle of a sentence because an ominous vibration was emitted from said pouch, thus indicating a More Important Than You message had just arrived and they had to open the pouch, take the BlackBerry out and make clear that you were not worthy to see whatever was now shown on its display.

    Back then, "in your face" it was, not "humble". Rise and fall, and all that.

    Now back to finish reading this article :)

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      So true. Honestly BlackBerry as hardware only started to get good once the ars*holes moved on to iPhones.

      Basically it became "second hand", cheap and no longer monetised. I am a fan of all three of those features XD

  4. Aoyagi Aichou


    I'm just going to hold onto my Priv until it outlives me.

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Support is key

    BlackBerry's software support used to be great but the new devices went EOL very quickly. SWMBO got a DTEK in 2017, OS hasn't had updates since summer 2018.

    As for Planet, unfortunately support is even worse: three OS updates since launch of the Gemini and slew of bugs never fixed. I've ended up getting a portable keyboard which I can use with any phone.

    1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: Support is key

      At least the Gemini is rootable so someone else should be able to update it

  6. nematoad

    Oh dear.

    "...the vanishingly small slither..."

    So are you calling those people who want a 'phone with a keyboard snakes?

    Slither is what snakes do. The word you are looking for, and not finding, is sliver.

    Yes, pettifogging, nitpicking and pedantic but the use of incorrect words is starting to irritate on what is otherwise an informative, irreverent and amusing site.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear.

      "I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking keyboard!!!!"

  7. Mozzie

    Are there any protective rights over the Q5/Q10 designs?

    I'm probably in an incredibly small minority here but I actually can't use most touchscreens; my fingers just don't register anything with the sensors. This has been a problem for me with smartphones, ATM's, POS units, McDonalds new we-no-longer-provide-cashiers-cos-they're-stuck-in-the-back-of-the-plastic-straw-cupboard systems and a very expensive touch-lamp gift.

    For me the Blackberry Q5 and Q10 were the best phones I ever owned. Not purely down to the excellent keyboard but the fact I could put the handset in my pocket without any pleased to see me jokes, the batteries lasted 3 days with moderate use, the screens were fantastic and well suited to browsing most reasonably well designed web pages as well as a full screen terminal emulator. Call quality was good, signal range excellent regardless of how I held them and as I got both my handsets towards the end of their popularity I paid peanuts for them.

    I see somebody mentioned the Gemini above somewhere with similar experiences to mine. This could never serve as any kind of an alternative to a phone.... or a keyboard.... or a palm top.... or anything else functional. If you could get a 9mm thick Nokia Communicator I'd be interested though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are there any protective rights over the Q5/Q10 designs?

      You are not alone. I have to use a stylus with POS/ATM screens. I love my freakin' BB mit keyboard! Keep your iThings!

  8. Clive Galway

    YAY, slider QWERTY is back!

    Gotta get me one of these F(x)tec phones - absolutely loved my old HTC TyTn and similar slider QWERTY phones of the era, the clamshell of the new Psion clone appeals less

    1. Dapprman

      Re: YAY, slider QWERTY is back!

      I do and I don't. I had a TyTn (under Vodafone branding), a Touch Pro and a Desire Z and as time went on the build quality of the keyboards dropped. In some respects I do still miss a physical keyboard, but maybe not the extra weight/size, plus I can still remember keys failing.

    2. staringatclouds

      Re: YAY, slider QWERTY is back!

      I've got an order in for one, they're made in China & the Coronavirus is causing a delay

  9. Barry Rueger


    I have a Blackberry keyboard APK that has moved through multiple Android phones since my Q19 got crunched.

    Even though every phone and manufacturer insists on "improving ' Android with annoying third-party features, at least I've had a consistent, reliable keyboard across devices.

  10. Skarjune

    OK Boomer

    Oh but I do remember & do miss my first Google phone the HTC-made G1 for T-Mobile with a slide-out keyboard, and I actually loved it's clickable trackball--although I hated desktop trackballs and never had a BlackBerry nor Palm. It had the perfect form factor for my big thumbs to learn how to texttype, after desktop touch typing at up to 90 WPM for decades.The G2 was a step down trying to streamline the hefty design and had a lesser clumsy square rocker replacing the precision of the former trackball.

    The G1 trackball felt like velcro & not only did it stick nicely to the tip of the index finger, it also gently stuck to it's position and moved a few pixels when nudged to the next sticky point. Never seen nor felt anything else quite like that. A brilliant solution in the dustbin of Android history.

  11. Mr_Lizard

    A big reason that they didn't sell more Blackberry Privs was that it was *too secure*.

    I and many others were intending to buy one as soon as it could be rooted. That never happened.

    1. NogginTheNog

      Why Privs didn't sell

      Well that, and they had a nasty habit of overheating!

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: Why Privs didn't sell

        That was fixed in a later software update that automatically throttled the phone when it got too hot.

        Of course, that could potentially have contributed to the longevity including the GPS on mine working poorly after three years.

  12. 54bombay

    I am using a blackberry keyone and love it just moved from Huawei p30 back to the blackberry I prefer proper keyboard I also like the HTC desire with proper full keyboard I would by one

  13. AK565

    Blackberry should license their keyboards (even SureType) to other manufacturers to make case covers, battery backs, snap-ons, and handheld BlueTooth units all with their keyboards. And they should license the software for their touch screen keyboards. I'd love a 9900, Q10, or SureType keyboard for my iPhone.

    I'd've bought a Key2 if it'd been less expensive or came with a deal from my carrier the way my iPhone 8+ did.

    1. NogginTheNog

      Phones with deals

      If you can afford it it's ALWAYS cheaper to buy a phone upfront and get a SIM only deal instead.

  14. man_iii

    The Last Nokias

    N900 Or N950 with an Ottercase was night indestructible with a beautiful sliding keyboard.

    Wish mine don't end up in a ditch somewhere on a torrential rainy day :-P else I would still be rocking the snap cover to take fotos one handed and installing debian packages and doing all fun stuff... Compared to the bloated crap everyone calls a POS "os".... Even SailfishOS/Jolla can come close to whatt was the Nokia's last hurrah :-|

    1. crayon

      Re: The Last Nokias

      My N900 ended in my front trousers pocket with some keys and when I sat down the screen got damaged releasing the liquid in the LCD. One of my favourite devices of yesteryear the Sharp Zaurus was still working when I spun it up about a year ago. My Psion S5 and Ericsson MC128 both stopped working years ago.

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