In Depth

BlackBerry to launch its KEYOne phone in May

Former mobile giant turns its focus to smartphone software and autonomous tech

BlackBerry will launch its final internally designed smartphone, the KEYOne next month, as the company turns its focus to mobile software development and autonomous vehicle technology.

According to TechRadar, the phone, which debuted at this year's World Mobile Congress, will go on sale on 5 May.

While its recent line-up of devices has hidden the iconic Blackberry compact keyboard underneath sliding displays, the new phone uses a more simplistic design with a fixed display and a physical keyboard. 

It also features a 4.5ins touchscreen display and a 12-megapixel camera, says The Verge, along with a "Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor" and "large 3,505mAh battery". 

The KEYOne will be the last mobile phone BlackBerry creates inhouse, says ArsTechnica. Future devices "will be designed and released by other companies". 

Since the release of the iPhone, BlackBerry, now operated by China-based TCL Communication, "hasn't fared well", adds the website. Its modern smartphone operating system, debuted on the BlackBerry 10, "arrived years after iOS and Android had firmly established themselves". 

Consequently, the former mobile giant decided to move away from the Apple and Samsung market-dominated market and instead outsource its brand to other mobile manufacturers so it can focus on developing smartphone software. 

More recently, it revealed plans to open an autonomous vehicle division in Canada to develop software for car manufacturers. 

The BlackBerry KEYOne can be pre-ordered from Carphone Warehouse for £499. First deliveries are expected on 5 May. 

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