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BlackBerry has gone through a number of metamorphoses as the smartphone maker struggles to compete with the likes of Android and iOS.  After failing to turn the company around with devices like the Z10 and Z30, which catered to consumers’ desire for software keyboards, the company is going back to what made its product popular in the first place: its hardware keyboard.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company’s next phones will focus primarily on hardware keyboards.  “I personally love the keyboards,” Chen said, “so you will look to Blackberry going forward to do keyboards — I wouldn’t use the word exclusively, but predominantly.” 

BlackBerry isn’t the only one betting on the hardware keyboard.  The company is currently suing Ryan Seacrest’s mobile keyboard startup Typo, which aims to replicate the Blackberry typing experience on an iPhone by offering a keyboard-case hybrid accessory.

When asked how he would make money from platforms like BlackBerry Messenger, Chen said that while the company plans to use channels to make money from corporations, it will focus on monetizing through secure messaging for enterprises or what he referred to as EBBM.

“I think every enterprise would love to have their own secure messaging Intranet, and I think that this should tie to what we offer enterprises as part of the server,” Chen said.  “So I think that’s where the bulk of money is going to come from.  Eventually, when the volume is big enough, we will partner with some retail situation.”

As for making money through advertising, Chen thinks that despite being difficult, it’s still an interesting option and won’t rule it out.

Still, BlackBerry has quite a ways to go to catch up with its competitors.  The company failed to adapt to the changing environment by offering the same products instead of branching out to new markets and lost almost $1 billion in the second quarter of 2013.  It seems the companies is replaying its same losing hand by going back to its same strategy instead of adopting a new one.  But maybe that’s what they need to do?  What do you think about focusing on a physical keyboard?

You can watch the full interview courtesy of Bloomberg below:


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