RIM: BlackBerry physical keyboards are going nowhere

'Plain wrong' to ditch key strength says Thorsten Heins

BlackBerry devices with physical keyboards will have a place in the new era with CEO Thorsten Heins assuring fans it would be 'plain wrong' for RIM to abandon what brought it to the dance

The BlackBerry 10 operating system represents a huge rebirth for RIM as it seeks to reassert itself as a smartphone force, but loyalists need not worry about their beloved handsets ditching their most enduring feature.

With the company handing out the touchscreen Dev Alpha device to developers this week and the first official BB10 device expected to be a touchscreen affair, many had feared that the BlackBerry physical keyboard may be consigned to history.

However, at BlackBerry World in Orlando, recently-appointed CEO has moved to assure the fanbase that the traditional input method is going nowhere.

"We never stated that we wouldn't build BlackBerry 10 devices with physical keyboards," he told reporters. "We know what our strengths are. And it would be plain wrong to get rid of the physical keyboard."

The company has enjoyed a productive few days in Orlando as it builds towards the BB10 launch, later this year. Reports last week suggested an announcement will be made in August, with the first device launching in October.