RIM pledges devotion to physical keyboards

If you’re the kind of person who can’t live without a real keyboard on your phone, then Blackberry is the brand for you.

According to still-newly-minted Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins, there are no plans to create an all-touchscreen Blackberry strategy as the company completely reinvents what the Blackberry brand is – that keyboard that so many people still love will stick around.

RIM views it as one of the company’s assets and something that should not change.

“We know what our strengths are. And it would be plain wrong to get rid of the physical keyboard,” he was quoted as saying in a Cnet article.

Of course, it was that kind of logic that got RIM into the mess that it is in right now. The company believed, stubbornly, that its tried-and-tested Blackberry software was so incredible that it only needed minor tweaks and enhancements to compete against the fresh-faced iPhones and Androids of the world.

That proved to be wildly untrue, as even RIM’s enterprise customers, thought to be permanent Blackberry users who would never jump ship, have moved on to the newer smartphone platforms.

As such, RIM is finally getting ready to launch Blackberry 10, a brand new version of the OS that will be nothing like any previous Blackberry mobile software.

The industry is clearly going to an all-touchscreen standard, so RIM will offer a version of its Blackberry 10 platform on a device without a keyboard, but it wants to have both options available.

We’ll see if the decision to cling onto the physical keyboard is a smart decision once sales numbers start to come in from Blackberry 10, which is due to launch later this year.