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Many analysts believe that several years from now the absolute majority of smartphones will rely on touchscreens and not on keyboards. Nonetheless, Research in Motion claims that it will continue to make smartphones with physical QWERTY keyboards for those, who needs to type emails or text messages rapidly.

"We never stated that we wouldn't build BlackBerry 10 devices with physical keyboards. We know what our strengths are. And it would be plain wrong to get rid of the physical keyboard," said Thorsten Heins, chief executive officer of RIM, at the company's BlackBerry World conference, reports Cnet News web-site.

One of the main features of the yet to be released BlackBerry 10 platform is the intelligent virtual keyboard that promises to considerably speed up and ease typing on touchscreen phones. The new OS learns the words users use most often and also recognizes how people type on the device and compensates for inaccurate typing on virtual keyboard. It seems that the new technology will not kill the good-old hardware QWERTY keyboards.

Among the main reasons for the success of Blackberry in the 2000s were hardware keyboards as well as special data compressing technology that enabled rapid email services without compromising corporate security. In the era of touchscreen-based smartphones, Blackberry devices lost their popularity and RIM now needs to do a lot to stay competitive. Apparently, RIM does not want to lose its core customers who need physical keys while trying to regain popularity on the mass market.

"I am convinced that with BlackBerry 10, we will once again be a strong contender in the U.S. We will regain market share in the U.S. We are here to win, and we're not here just to be in the game," said Mr. Heins.

Tags: RIM, Blackberry, BBX

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