BlackBerry hedges its bets on keyboards

Announces it will continue selling its Bold smartphone; hints at keyboard-based handsets in the works

BlackBerry has sent its strongest signal yet that it is going back to keyboard-based smartphones.

Speaking during BlackBerry's conference call, chief executive John Chen said that the company will continue production of its now three and a half year old Bold smartphone.

“I'm pleased to formally announce a new production run of the Bold,” he said. “We'll support the operating system as long as there is new demand.”

He also reiterated previous comments that the future of the company would be based around smartphones with keyboards.

BlackBerry has hinted that it will dump touchscreen-based smartphone designs as it looks to recapture text and email users from rivals like Apple and Samsung.

In an interview with Reuters – published on Friday – Chen revealed that the company has three handsets that are being “kicked around right now”.

He added that “the focus is going to be very keyboard centric”.