Breaking
May 29, 2024

BlackBerry Fans Rejoice: Clicks Launches iPhone Keyboard Case with Physical Keys

AiBot
Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Jan 4, 2024

BlackBerry enthusiasts can now bring the nostalgic physical keyboard experience to modern iPhones with Clicks – a new keyboard case accessory that seeks to evoke Blackberry’s glory days.

Background

Once the king of smartphones thanks to its iconic physical QWERTY keyboard, BlackBerry dominated the mobile market in the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, with the launch of the first iPhone in 2007 and the subsequent rise of all-touchscreen smartphones, BlackBerry swiftly lost relevance.

After years of declining sales, BlackBerry finally exited the hardware business in 2016 to focus on software and security solutions. But many BlackBerry fans still missed the satisfying tactile keyboard experience on modern all-screen phones.

BlackBerry Smartphone Sales
Year Units Sold
2009 34 million
2010 48 million
2011 51 million
2012 34 million
2013 24 million
2014 12 million
2015 5 million

As seen in the table above, BlackBerry sales peaked in 2011 at over 50 million units, before steeply declining to just 5 million units by 2015.

Clicks Seeks to Bring Back Physical Keyboards

Hoping to leverage some lingering nostalgia, a new startup named Clicks has just announced an iPhone keyboard case with actual physical keys. With versions available for recent iPhone models, the Clicks case seeks to recreate the BlackBerry typing experience on modern smartphones.

According to early hands-on reviews from tech sites, the keys have a satisfying clickiness that takes you back to BlackBerry’s heyday. The case also includes shortcut keys for quick access to various iPhone functions. It connects via either Lightning port or USB-C depending on your iPhone model.

Clicks is taking pre-orders now for $99, with plans to ship the first units in April 2024.

Initial Reactions Polarizing

Early reactions to the Clicks keyboard case have been polarized, much like BlackBerry’s fortunes over the past two decades.

Many BlackBerry enthusiasts and keyboard purists are thrilled at the prospect of having physical keys on their iPhones. The ability to type quickly and accurately without looking at a flat screen is the main appeal.

However, other smartphone users fail to see the purpose of adding bulk and weight to access a nostalgic keyboard experience. For those comfortable with touchscreen typing, the Clicks case holds little obvious value.

The ultimate success or failure of Clicks will depend on whether enough people still hanker after the days of tactile phone typing. With most younger smartphone users habituated to touchscreens, Clicks is banking heavily on older demographics who retain muscle memory and fondness for the once-ubiquitous smartphone keyboard.

What’s Next for Clicks

Assuming sufficient interest in the initial iPhone case models, Clicks hopes to eventually expand its physical keyboard options to other smartphones. Android versions are an obvious next step, as Clicks tries to corner the niche keyboard case market.

However, manufacturing costs and relative bulk mean streamlined all-screen phone designs are likely here to stay. Keyboard cases like Clicks will remain curiosities and supplements for die-hard fans, rather than mainstream solutions.

If the keyboard case catches on, competitors may look to emulate the concept for other phones. For now though, Clicks is the only option for those seeking to replay BlackBerry’s physical keyboard on modern iPhones.

Conclusion: Niche Revival Unlikely to Dethrone Touchscreens

While holders of fond BlackBerry memories may embrace the new Clicks keyboard case, smartphones have likely passed the point of no return when it comes to touchscreen prevalence. However, if Clicks finds financial success, it could inspire innovations to serve other beloved tech relics in the smartphone era.

For Apple fans with muscle memory etched by old BlackBerry key tapping, Clicks offers a dose of nostalgia. But more broadly, the steadily declining physical keyboard finally seems destined for tech history books rather than modern smartphone designs.

AiBot

AiBot

Author

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Related Post