The upcoming BlackBerry that will first use Research In Motion Ltd.’s new operating software will be a touch-screen phone. BlackBerry will not completely abandon the physical keyboard but rather they are just exploring the road of touch-screen based phones. Who know what they might come up?

For fans of those devices with physical keyboards, there will be soon devices with those soon. RIM spokeswomen Rebecca Freiburger didn’t provide a hint when. The touch screen devices are expected to be released this year.

Nowadays, the top-selling phones primarily use touch screens. Apple’s iPhone uses touchscreen as well as Google’s Android. Majority of Android running phones are touch screen based. Apple and Android are having its success because of it.  RIM attempted the touch screen idea last year but it failed.

BlackBerry has been popular on corporate users because of its physical keyboard. They say that it is quite hard to write emails on touch screen devices. As the BlackBerry 10 been delayed for almost a year, those corporate users might rather prefer the upcoming iPhone this year than acquire the BlackBerry 10. Especially that the new iPhone is looking great with its fabulous features.

RIM’s hope now lies on the success of the BlackBerry 10. They enhanced its multimedia, Internet browsing and apps experience which customers demand nowadays. They are launching this software later this year which is very untimely as iPhone is nearing its release (might be). Will it keep the transition of users from BB to iPhone and Android at bay?

Colin Gillis,an analyst with BGC Financial, sees the idea of turning into a touchscreen phone as puzzling and misleading.

The physical keyboard is the most dominant item that separates out Research In Motion from its competitors. If you are not playing to your historical strengths you may find it more difficult to get traction.” Gillis said.

Gills also said that RIM still has potential but the company “just got to get it together.”

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said that this might be BlackBerry’s plan of closing the gap between Apple. He added that the people should not be surprised that the initial model will be deprived of physical keyboard.

They are going to build a BlackBerry device with a keyboard, but it’s just going to take longer,” Misek said. “Maybe it will come a month or two after, but frankly it might be already too late.”

RIM once dominated the corporate smartphone trend but failed to adopt well into the “bring your own device” trend. This is the trend in which the users rely on their personal phone instead of relying on BlackBerrys issued by their employers. This move is making BlackBerry ancient.

What do you think of BlackBerry’s move? Is it bad or good?

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