BlackBerry Leaps Back to Touchscreens With New Phone at Mobile World Congress

New mid-market phone ditches the famous QWERTY keyboard.

Geared to young professionals, the device boasts a 5-inch full touchscreen and a $275 -- making it an ideal replacement for the mid-market touchscreen BlackBerry Z3 that was released last year but failed to gain traction among enterprise users.

Aside from the edge-to-edge touchscreen, BlackBerry is also playing up its mobility features that could make it attractive to the enterprise crowd. With more than 25 hours of battery life and the BlackBerry virtual assistant that was unveiled last year, the device can easily withstand a long workday.

"BlackBerry Leap was built specifically for mobile professionals who see their smartphone device as a powerful and durable productivity tool that also safeguards sensitive communications at all times," Ron Louks, president of devices and emerging solutions, said in a statement.

The release of the BlackBerry Leap comes as BlackBerry CEO John Chen underscored the company's shift to becoming more of a software leader after its devices have failed to make an impact in a market crowded with sexier smartphones.

"We are committed to making software as a business," Chen said. "We are going to evolve."

The BlackBerry leap will go on sale in April and will be followed up with three more handsets later this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.