BlackBerry 10 devices to be without physical keyboard

BlackBerry 10 devices to be without physical keyboard

Research in Motion's (RIM's) latest BlackBerry operating system will not offer users a physical keyboard, only a touch screen.

The BlackBerry 10 software will be offered on devices with physical keyboards in the future, but RIM spokeswomen Rebecca Freiburger did not reveal a date for the rollout to older devices.

A host of corporate users have continued to use BlackBerry devices solely because of its physical keyboard, given a perception that it's harder to type emails on a touch screen.

The virtual keyboard in Blackberry 10 is one of the operating system's featured attractions, with words being suggested as the user types, which can then be 'flicked' into a message or email.

Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Financial, has questioned the move, telling the Associated Press that the physical keyboard is what separates RIM from its competitors.

"If you are not playing to your historical strengths you may find it more difficult to get traction," he added.