The BlackBerry KEYone broke a pre-order record at Rogers, with Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager of TCL Communication North America saying that the Canadian carrier never received more advance orders on a BlackBerry-branded device in its history. Cistulli’s statement was made on Friday, only a week after the KEYone became available for pre-orders in Canada, indicating that the smartphone may solidify its new record in the coming days given how it’s only scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 31. The Toronto, Ontario-based mobile service provider has yet to confirm Cistulli’s announcement and possibly expand on it given how TCL Communication’s official didn’t provide a specific pre-order figure for the KEYone.
Cistulli on Friday also reiterated that the BlackBerry KEYone will be released in the United States, adding that its stateside launch coincides with the Canadian one and that the handset will be carried by “different retail channels.” Regarding Canada specifically, Rogers is said to have already started sending shipping notifications to Canadian consumers who pre-ordered the device, meaning some of them may already receive their new BlackBerry-branded Android smartphone even prior to May 31. Telus, SakTel, Bell, and Bell MTS also confirmed that they will be selling the KEYone whose contract-free price tag amounts to $679 CAD, or approximately $505. The fact that the latest BlackBerry handset managed to break the aforementioned record indicates that the brand may be on the track to jump back from its recent issues, at least in its home country. Rogers started selling BlackBerry devices in 1999 and has carried a number of its popular models in the last 18 years, making the KEYone’s pre-order record all the more impressive.
Originally announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) earlier this year, the BlackBerry KEYone boasts a 4.5-inch display panel with a resolution of 1620 by 1080 pixels due to its unconventional 3:2 aspect ratio. The device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 system-on-chip (SoC) and 3GB of RAM, in addition to featuring 32GB of internal flash memory that’s expandable by up to 1TB via a microSD card slot. The physical keyboard with an integrated fingerprint scanner is one of the main selling points of the device, as is its 3,505mAh battery. While it remains to be seen whether the KEYone manages to return the BlackBerry brand into the mainstream spotlight, an update on its commercial performance should be available shortly.