BlackBerry Leap ditches physical keyboard with 5-inch display

BlackBerry Leap ditches physical keyboard with 5-inch display

BlackBerry Leap Review

The company also plans to release a second Porsche edition device and another keyboard BlackBerry later this year.

BlackBerry Leap

The Leap marks a return to touchscreen, with last year’s line-up totally dependent on its trademark physical keyboard. The company plans to start selling the smartphone, which will go on sale in April in Europe for $275 (roughly £180 or AU$350).

BlackBerry devices executive Ron Louks also teased another smartphone with a curved display that wraps around the side, like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and a slide-out keyboard. There isn’t a name for the device, but CEO John Chen said he calls it “the slider.” He also said the company would release a second Porsche edition BlackBerry and another keyboard smartphone.

Video About Blackberry Leap

BlackBerry is in the midst of a transformation, moving from purely a smartphone manufacturer to a provider of business services, including helping companies manage a wide array of mobile devices. The company spent the early part of the Mobile World Congress trade show making several business announcements, including the desire to bring more BlackBerry apps and services to the iPhone and Android smartphones and a strengthened partnership with Samsung and its Knox business service. As an illustration of the trend, a vast majority of its 90-minute conference was dominated by software.

But BlackBerry still counts roughly three-quarters of its revenue from smartphones, and it needs a hit. The company unveiled four devices in 2014, a low-cost BlackBerry Z3 constructed with manufacturing partner Foxconn, a niche Porsche edition BlackBerry, the extra-wide Passport and the BlackBerry Classic.

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