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January 8, 2014

BlackBerry to refocus on physical keyboard

The firm recently filed a patent lawsuit against Typo Keyboards for infringing its popular keyboard design.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

BlackBerry has announced that it will return its focus to ‘physical’ in efforts to target corporate and government customers that fuelled its early success.

CEO John Chen, who took the helm in November 2013, said the company’s phones will mainly have physical keyboard rather than touch screens.

"I personally love the keyboards," he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Chen also told the Financial Times at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas he expects the company to be cash flow positive within four quarters and profitable by the end of March 2016.

The Canadian smartphone maker, which agreed to be acquired by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial for $4.7bn (£2.8bn), also hopes to focus on its BlackBerry Enterprise Service, BlackBerry Messenger, QNX embedded software and connected cars.

The announcement comes not too long after BlackBerry filed a lawsuit against Typo Products, the maker of a snap-on keypad accessory for the iPhone, over alleged infringements that the design closely resembles its keyboard case.

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In December, BlackBerry announced a five-year deal with Foxconn Technology to outsource the manufacturing and design of some of its phones.

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