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The BlackBerry KeyOne will soon get a pal.

BlackBerry phone manufacturer TCL will release a companion to the KeyOne in October, with at least one major difference — it won’t have a keyboard.

“Two months from now, we will have a touchscreen solution to show,” TCL’s Global Head of Sales François Mahieu said in a briefing at IFA in Berlin on Tuesday.

It’s no surprise that we’re getting more BlackBerry phones this year. Back in February TCL promised as many as three devices would be coming in 2017. But this is the first we’ve heard from the Chinese manufacturer of an October launch date of its next device, as well as confirmation that it is working on an all-touchscreen phone.

The touchscreen BlackBerry won’t be aimed higher or lower than the KeyOne, but instead will be about the same price, said Mahieu. The idea behind this is to ensure that enterprise customers being offered a BlackBerry at work will have a choice of different devices. Some people will simply prefer to have a touchscreen phone, so the thinking goes. “We should not be blind to the demand that’s out there,” said Mahieu.

If you’re a fan of the KeyOne’s keyboard, don’t panic. A full touchscreen phone is not a U-turn away from keyboards for TCL, just a deviation. “It will continue to be true in the future that keyboards are definitely a big element of [BlackBerry’s] DNA,” said Mahieu. Instead they are more likely be more sophisticated follow-up devices to the TCL-made DTEK 50 and DTEK60, which feature full touchscreens and which predated TCL’s takeover of BlackBerry.

TCL, which also makes televisions and Alcatel phones, has been trying to breathe fresh life into the BlackBerry brand since launching the KeyOne at Mobile World Congress in February. Two major criticisms BlackBerry weathered in its former life were its inability to react fast enough to changes in the the market and keep pace with rivals when releasing new phones. This is something TCL wants to avoid, hence a second high-end phone this year.

“The message here is very clearly: Don’t write us off as a vendor who has good success with KeyOne so far, but has nothing more to talk about,” said Mahieu. “We’re here to stay and we’re going to roll out more BlackBerry products in the coming years, starting this year.”

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[“Source-cnet”]