Enjoy our official first look at what’s to come from the newest BlackBerry smartphone. More to come at MWC. pic.twitter.com/gHkwepCPbJ
— Steve Cistulli (@SteveCistulli) January 4, 2017
BlackBerry is done making smartphone hardware. The company said last year it would "end all internal hardware development" and "pivot to software." The brand will still appear on hardware, as it is "outsourcing" the BlackBerry brand to Chinese electronics company TCL. We've seen this happen already with the "BlackBerry" DTEK line, which so far has taken bog-standard TCL smartphone designs and slapped a BlackBerry logo on them.
Before BlackBerry bows out of the phone hardware market, the company has one last in-house design left: the Blackberry "Mercury." Today the phone is just being teased. We don't have any specs, and "Mercury" might not even be the final name (DTEK70 gets thrown around a lot in leaks), but at CES TCL is showing off a QWERTY-bar Blackberry phone that runs Android 7.0 Nougat.
The Priv looked like a typical smartphone when closed, but pulling on the bottom revealed a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The Mercury changes up the design by shrinking the screen and affixing the keyboard to the front of the device, just like an old school BlackBerry phone. Crackberry managed to go hands-on with the phone, which it describes as a metal body with a soft touch back. There's a USB Type C port on the bottom, and BlackBerry has cleverly hidden the fingerprint reader inside the space bar.
from BlackBerry’s last in-house QWERTY phone, the “Mercury,” gets teased