With the world’s biggest technology conference being round the corner, BlackBerry has announced that it will release the Mercury smartphone on February 25 at Mobile World Congress, 2017. Blackberry ‘Mercury’, apparently Blackberry’s last phone with a QWERTY keyboard, will be announced at an event in the days leading up to MWC. President Steve Cistulli sent out a tweet for the event saying, “Bringing something distinctly different to #MWC2017 #BlackBerryMobile.”
BlackBerry’s licensing partner TCL had already shared a glimpse of the new device at CES, 2017. The teaser revealed the new smartphone will feature BlackBerry’s trademark physical keyboard. The phone with an aluminum casing, has black antenna bands and USB type-C port at the bottom.
As reported earlier, “Mercury” will be the last smartphone that would be designed by BlackBerry. The news comes from COO and General Manager at BlackBerry, Ralph Pini who confirms it to be the last smartphone that will be designed by the company. Pini in the official BlackBerry Blogs said, “We are very excited about the coming BlackBerry branded “Mercury” smartphone. It’s the last phone that we designed and engineered in-house.”
TCL, which holds the agreement to manufacture BlackBerry branded smartphones will be selling the units along with the upcoming ‘Mercury’ phone globally.
With BlackBerry focusing on software and services instead of manufacturing its own devices, Pini added, “Blackberry is 100 percent focused on software solutions, providing the embedded intelligence to secure the Enterprise of Things so that the internet of Things can thrive. As part of our strategy we are now leveraging third parties for the development, distribution, and marketing of BlackBerry handsets, while we continue to own the BlackBerry brand.”
BlackBerry is primarily focused on selling the new devices in fast growing smartphone markets like India, and other South-Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal.