BlackBerry Jakarta rumored to be coming to market without physical keyboard

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| December 30, 2013

BlackBerry Z10 rear

During BlackBerry's third quarter fiscal 2014 earnings call, CEO John Chen revealed that his company would be partnering with Foxconn on a new device codenamed "Jakarta" that'll target Indonesia and other emerging markets. Chen didn't reveal much about the Jakarta's spec sheet except that it'll be a 3G device, but as is usually the case with upcoming hardware, the rumor mill isn't staying as quiet as the BlackBerry CEO.

A new report from BGR claims that the BlackBerry 10-powered Jakarta won't feature a physical keyboard, which would make it the third full-touch BB10 device after the Z10 and Z30. The Jakarta is expected to begin hitting store shelves in either March or April 2014.

The BlackBerry Jakarta is expected to be a low-cost device, and so if this rumor of it being touch-only is true, that decision could've been made to help drive the retail price of the unit as low as possible. BlackBerry has been attacking emerging markets with BlackBerry 7 products that include physical keyboards, like the recently-released 9720, and so releasing a full-touch BlackBerry 10 device in those regions would be a pretty big switch for the company.

If today's rumor holds true, it'll be interesting to see how BlackBerry ends up pricing the Jakarta and how consumers will react to it. The good news is that, with a release scheduled for March or April, we should start to learn more about the Jakarta and what makes it tick in the near future. Stay tuned.