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May 29, 2024

BlackBerry Makes a Comeback with iPhone Keyboard Case

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Jan 6, 2024

A relic of the past has been resurrected in an unexpected form. BlackBerry, once the darling of productivity-focused smartphone users before the iPhone era, has inspired a new iPhone case that brings back the physical keyboard so many former fans still miss.

Clicks Creator Keyboard Aims to Fill a Niche

The new Clicks Creator Keyboard case made waves at CES 2023 by offering iPhone 14 and 15 users the ability to add a tactile QWERTY keyboard to their devices. This keyboard case is the brainchild of startup Clicks, which aims to serve the niche of smartphone users who prefer the productivity and accuracy benefits of physical keys.

While touchscreen keyboards have improved greatly over the years, some still believe a tactile keyboard allows faster and more comfortable typing. The Clicks case hopes to leverage this enduring nostalgia for the once-ubiquitous BlackBerry form factor. Its keyboard layout mirrors the iconic BlackBerry style, bringing familiarity to users who grew accustomed to these physical keyboards years ago.

Early Reviews Applaud Innovative Concept

Initial hands-on reviews have been quite positive about Clicks’ novel concept. Reviewers at CNET, The Verge, and Engadget highlighted the surprising comfort and usability of its keyboard design.

The Clicks case manages to add a very usable QWERTY keyboard without significantly increasing the iPhone’s thickness or weight. Reviewers found it comfortable enough for extended typing sessions. The keyboard itself has satisfying tactile feedback, much like beloved BlackBerry devices of old.

Specs Details
Dimensions 6.65 x 3.27 x 0.67 inches
Weight 5.64 ounces
Keyboard layout QWERTY, optimized for iOS shortcuts
Other features Backlit keys, portrait and landscape typing orientations
Battery life Up to 30 hours continuous use
Charging Via iPhone’s Lightning or USB-C port
Models supported iPhone 14/14 Pro/Max, iPhone 15/15 Pro/Max
Price $139

Key specs and features of the Clicks Creator Keyboard case

Targeting BlackBerry Refugees

Clicks is clearly targeting the niche market of former BlackBerry users who have begrudgingly adapted to full touchscreen iPhones. These users likely still miss the tactile feedback and accuracy of a physical keyboard.

For those who struggle to type quickly or accurately on glass phone screens, the Clicks case could be a game-changer. Reviewers found themselves typing significantly faster with the keyboard attached. The productivity boost will surely appeal to the target demographic of business users.

Clicks’ founder and CEO,SetLineStyle Bethune, has a long history in mobile tech. He wants to leverage that nostalgia for BlackBerry, telling Ars Technica:

“If we could bring back that tactile feedback and the accuracy of the keyboard, there are so many people who would buy that.”

Early demand and media buzz suggests Bethune may be onto something. Before even hitting the market, the Clicks keyboard raised over $300k on Indiegogo from backers nostalgic for physical keys.

What About Other Smartphone Platforms?

For now Clicks is laser-focused on the iPhone, with cases compatible with iPhone 14, 14 Pro/Max, and iPhone 15 models. But Bethune has bigger ambitions if the product succeeds. He told The Verge:

“If there’s enough traction with the iPhone case, Bethune plans to expand Clicks to other phones, including Android devices.”

It’s easy to imagine Clicks keyboard cases made for popular Android phones like the Galaxy S23 series. Android retains a healthy market share where more keyboard-centric use cases still thrive.

Given BlackBerry’s historic ties to enterprise and business users, an Android version could further boost Clicks’ appeal.

Could This Spur a Wider Accessories Trend?

On the heels of Clicks’ warm CES reception, some analysts wonder if it could kick off a revival of physical smartphone accessories. After over a decade of full-screen phone dominance, vendors may be looking for new ways to differentiate.

As screens now stretch edge-to-edge on most phones, cases and accessories are one of the only ways left for innovation. Clicks has taken advantage of this opportunity in a novel way. Their success could inspire other accessory makers to tap into user nostalgia and boost productivity.

Vocal enthusiasts still missing keyboard phones represent an underserved market. Accessories like the Clicks case give vendors a lower-risk way to experiment. If sales respond well, it may lead companies to take another look at once-abandoned form factors.

What Will BlackBerry Fanboys Think?

For the BlackBerry loyalists this case targets, early reactions are very positive overall. Tech nostalgia site CrackBerry declared “The iPhone finally has a physical keyboard!”

Many see Clicks’ case as a spiritual successor reviving BlackBerry’s mission. It replicates the exact keyboard size and shape that garnered such ardent fans years ago. Yet early hands-on reviews praise its tactile feedback as equal or superior to BlackBerry’s own keyboards.

Of course some purists insists that only a true BlackBerry device will do. But for those willing to adapt to iOS, Clicks offers the perfect tactile fix.

Early demand and funding shows this niche has waited a long time for a proper outlet for their keyboard nostalgia. For at least a subset of former BlackBerry users, this case checks all the boxes.

Clicks Sets Sights on 2023 Launch

Now that CES 2023 has put their iPhone case on the world’s radar, Clicks aims to ship final production units in Q2 of this year.

The company just closed its crowdfunding campaign after raising over 5 times their $50k goal. Strong public interest should help accelerate manufacturing and distribution partnerships.

Barring any setbacks we can expect the innovative Clicks Creator Keyboard case to launch in summer 2023. It will sell for $139, undercutting most major iPhone case brands.

For BlackBerry refugees, productivity mavens, or anyone who misses tactile phone keys, mark your calendars. The iPhone’s unlikeliest revival of retro tech is just months away.

Given the niche appeal, Clicks likely won’t dominate sales charts. But as a herald of smartphone experimentation it could spark new trends. For that reason alone Clicks deserves the mobile world’s attention in 2023.

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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.

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