Future BlackBerrys Will Have Keypads, Says RIM CEO

Can you imagine a future in which BlackBerrys are entirely touchscreen? Or are you more likely to envision a day when BlackBerrys are entirely extinct?

Either way, Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins wants you to know that the company isn’t deep-sixing the BlackBerry keypad.

“We won't lose the focus on physical keypads. It would be wrong, just plain wrong to do this,” Heins was quoted as saying Wednesday in The Canadian Press. He had addressed the media at the BlackBerry World conference in Orlando.

Heins stressed that the new line of BlackBerrys coming out later this year, based on the new BlackBerry 10 OS, will include both touchscreen and keypad models. Earlier during the conference, RIM caught some heat for focusing on cool new features in BlackBerry 10 for touchscreen devices, without addressing plans for future keypad devices. The oversight fueled speculation of a touchscreen-only BlackBerry lineup down the road, not to mention criticism from loyal BlackBerry users who love their keypads.

RIM hasn’t yet revealed exactly what the next generation of BlackBerrys will look like. The BlackBerry 10 OS-based models are hugely important to RIM, as the company has steadily lost smartphone market share—which it once dominated—to iOS and Android.

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