Earlier, we showed you a video from the MIT Enterprise Forum in Hong Kong where BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, was a guest speaker. At the event, Chen revealed the BlackBerry Classic would be launched sometime in December.
Further on at the event, Chen revealed some interesting tidbits on the company’s upcoming hardware focus. Beginning at the 1:29:00 mark in the video above, Chen says the company is actively working on tablets and another concept to address the issue of a large screen having a physical keyboard.
In April, we exclusively revealed BlackBerry is planning a new tablet for 2015. Chen has all but confirmed our earlier report. Though, BlackBerry still remains uncertain about a “PlayBook 2” styled tablet for consumers.
And what could be this new concept device? Chen seems to be hinting at a slider. We actively discussed how BlackBerry has been working on a new slider in our latest N4BB Live webcast. However, could the new concept device be in the form of their patent from 2012 for a tablet with a concealable keyboard?
The patent gives the following abstract on the idea:
An electronic device having a concealed keyboard includes a first housing, a second housing rotatably coupled to the first housing, and a concealment cover coupled to a rear of the first housing. The first housing has a coupling edge and two sides that are substantially perpendicular to the coupling edge of the first housing. The second housing has a coupling edge and two sides that are substantially perpendicular to the coupling edge of the second housing. A receiving portion is formed on a rear surface of the first housing and is configured to receive the second housing. When the second housing is in the receiving portion, each respective side of the first housing and the second housing are co-terminal with one another. The concealment cover is exteriorly positioned with respect to the second housing when the second housing is in the receiving portion.
Though nothing concrete on it coming to fruition, could BlackBerry be actively developing a hybrid laptop/tablet as a ‘Windows Surface’-type device? Time will tell, but nonetheless, it’s great to hear Chen excited about still aggressively having the company working on prototypes. But, Chen does iterate in the video how he believes the BlackBerry Passport is currently the best solution for a device with a large screen and physical keyboard.