RIM: BlackBerry 10 devices with physical keyboard still planned

BlackBerry maker RIM has confirmed that it will still be making smartphones with physical Qwerty keyboards when it comes to launching BlackBerry 10 devices in the future.

The news will no doubt allay fears of BlackBerry users not yet ready to make the full leap to a touchscreen keyboard.

Thorsten Heins, CEO at RIM, said as much in his keynote. However US phone site Phonescoop has confirmed with RIM at BlackBerry World that it is going to be making devices with physical keyboards as well as ones without.

"RIM is not going to stop producing devices with physical keyboards, despite its focus during the keynote on virtual keyboards," the site reports.  But it added:  "The spokesperson also noted that while the first BlackBerry 10 device might have only a virtual keyboard, future BlackBerry 10 devices will have virtual as well as physical keyboards."

RIM showed off new keyboard features in its keynote at the conference on the new BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha being handed out to developers at BlackBerry World in Florida. The new BlackBerry 10 keyboard will be offer predictive word calculations as well as helping to guess the letters you are typing in a way virtually identical to Swiftkey does for Android.

Industry sources have previously confirmed to Pocket-lint that Swiftkey is used by BlackBerry for the PlayBook OS 2.0 operating system and it is logical to expect that the British company's technology is being used here too.

At least BlackBerry Bold and Curve users can now rest easy that RIM isn't ditching the physical keyboard just yet.  

Will you hold out for a physical keyboard? Let us know in the comments below



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