The new Blackberry Q10 returns to what helped make the product famous in the first place - it’s easy to use qwerty keyboard. *Photo supplied
The new Blackberry Q10 returns to what helped make the product famous in the first place - it’s easy to use qwerty keyboard. *Photo supplied

This is the phone BlackBerry traditionalists have been waiting for.

No, not the BlackBerry Z10, which came on the market in March, but the Q10, which will be available at CellOne and Digicel later this month.

While the Z10 went after the iPhone and Android market with its touchscreen, the new Q10 returns to what helped make the product famous in the first place — it’s easy to use qwerty keyboard. 

The new phone comes loaded with 16 gigs of storage and comes preloaded with the top social media apps: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and YouTube.

Robb McNabb, marketing and communication director for CellOne, said the Q10 should be available for sale in the next seven to 10 days. 

“The Z10 exceeded all our expectations in terms of sales,” Mr McNabb said. “We had to go and order more from BlackBerry when we thought we’d set a pretty high initial forecast. It’s been our top selling smartphone for the last month and a half. It’s been hugely successful for us.”

He said people who prefer a physical keyboard probably skipped buying a Z10 to wait for Q10 to come out.

“The Q10 is going to do quite well for us. It’s going to be very popular, especially with our corporate base. It’s going to be pretty popular with our business customers. A lot of them haven’t gone to the Z10.”

Mr McNabb added the Q10 “is the purist product. This is the phone that everyone loved all along — the nice keyboard, the big screen.

“It’s a rarity today in the smartphone world to have a qwerty keyboard. Lots of people don’t like the touchscreen so that’s why I think it will be popular because they have no competition.”

Shane Mora, marketing director for Digicel, said his company has already been running an ad campaign for the new phone and it will go on sale on June 14, just in time to get dad a present for Father’s Day.

He said while the iPhone and Android phones have made their footprint in the Bermuda, the country still has a very heavy and loyal BlackBerry base.

Mora said he expects strong sales in the upcoming weeks.

“Z10 which launched about a month ago, was highly-anticipated and was well-received in the Bermuda market. It ate into our stock pretty quickly. We expect the Q10 would be even more popular because BlackBerry is known and recognized for their qwerty keyboard and their compression technology for data transmission.

“A BlackBerry that favours a keyboard is still a heavily favoured device amongst the business community.”

He said Digicel did have great demand for the Z10 “but we’ll see even more demand for the Q10”. 

Mr Mora said he does not believe the two products compete with each other as they target a different segment of the population.

“It will meet both spectrums of the consumer market. It will meet the need of one consumer who wants a full screen touch device and one who wants a keyboard.”

Mr Mora added the Father’s Day special allows consumers to get a Bluetooth headset and duffle bag on selected models.

“That same promotion will be available when the Q10 launches next week.”