It’s been awhile since Verizon and Motorola launched a QWERTY keyboard equipped smartphone. Last time we’ve seen such device (from in-the-wild photos), the rumored DROID 5, was in August/September of last year, and no other information has been released afterwards. We gotta wonder has this phone been cancelled, and perhaps more importantly – if it’s still in the pipeline, why it hasn’t be launched already?
Although the all-touchscreen design, made popular by the Apple iPhone, is ruling the day, there are still a number of users that would appreciate owning a phone with physical QWERTY keyboard. This could be a niche device but I’m sure any handset maker that launches a decent phone with QWERTY keyboard would be able to move at least million units, if not more. Why both major and smaller vendors are avoiding this market is beyond me.
Motorola may have “corporate reasons” for making not making new moves in this field; perhaps Lenovo, its new owner, doesn’t like the idea to continue offering such models. Perhaps they just want to spend their time elsewhere. What I don’t really understand is why handset makers that are struggling in today’s market — highly dominated by Apple and Samsung — don’t get back to this concept. This could be their profitable niche.
Related to this, I would suggest vendors exploring this market (like they’re listening to the guys like me) to forgo the side-sliding design and go for something that looks more like BlackBerry. I said it before and I’m going to say it again – it is my belief that there are millions of users who would instantly buy an Android-powered smartphone that is similar to the BlackBerry Passport. This device, however, has to be top-notch and include fast processor, great screen and at least 2GB of RAM to allow for some serious computing while on the go. Alas, I don’t see anything similar in the pipeline of any handset maker. Not that any vendor shares its plans with me… it’s just that no such device has been leaked in the last few months.
Hopefully, some company will see this as an opportunity and finally give us a business-centric Android smartphone. I’m sure I’m not the only one craving for something like this…