A TCL Communication-made device identified by the model number BBF100-2 that’s widely believed to be the upcoming BlackBerry KEY2 has been certified by the United States Federal Communications Commission late last week, with the regulator publishing its commercial approval on Friday. While the Chinese tech giant asked for a standard six-month confidentiality period from the federal agency in regards to publicizing detailed images of the device itself, it likely won’t need more than several weeks of cooperation from the FCC, with the company already confirming the BlackBerry KEY2 will be officially announced in early June at an event hosted in New York City.
The upcoming handset is likely to become available for purchase by mid-summer following its June 7 announcement, with recent reports pointing to a largely universal upgrade over last year’s KEYone. TCL is understood to have equipped its next BlackBerry-branded product with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of flash memory expandable via a microSD card slot by up to 2TB. A 4.5-inch screen is still said to be part of the package, featuring a blocky 3:2 aspect ratio, as was the case with the KEYone. The BBF100-2 certified by the FCC appears to be a GSM variant of the handset and is likely to be sold unlocked, much like its predecessor did last year. A 3.5mm headphone jack is also expected to be on offer, together with a USB Type-C 3.0 port and a custom implementation of Android 8.0 Oreo enhanced with BlackBerry’s mobile security software.
A device bearing the same model number has previously been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance and China’s telecom regulator TENAA, as well as the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. Besides the KEY2, another one of the Canadian company’s partner manufacturers — Optiemus Infracom — is expected to introduce a BlackBerry-branded handset in the coming weeks, with recent reports pointing to a mobile offering called the BlackBerry Ghost Pro being on course to India. Unlike the KEY2, the Ghost Pro isn’t expected to feature a physical QWERTY/QWERTZ keyboard and should instead adopt the traditional candy bar form factor.