For the umpteenth time, people are trying to make BlackBerry devices work in the modern era. A couple of years ago TCL licenced the name from RIM (who own the name) and built two BlackBerry devices. This year they decided not to renew the licence as of February this year and it has stopped selling those devices.
OnwardMobility have announced plans to launch a new 5G BlackBerry smartphone with the signature physical keyboard in tow. It may be available in North America and Europe in the middle of 2021.
Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility, says the newest Blackberry will be both sleek and secure. They are planning to work closely with BlackBerry and FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group.
“BlackBerry is thrilled OnwardMobility will deliver a BlackBerry 5G smartphone device with physical keyboard leveraging our high standards of trust and security synonymous with our brand,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in a statement.
BlackBerry has tried several times to launch a device that could set it up in the modern smartphone world, to no avail. The BlackBerry Priv and BlackBerry Passport are two notable devices which tried to differentiate itself from the monotonous world of glass and metal slabs. While they did deliver some interesting design and software features, they never took off.
Many believed that BlackBerry just took too long to make the jump to Android and were left behind. Once they did make the move, their form factors didn’t really work well with the software.
What kind of smartphone do you think BlackBerry needs to launch to make it successful in a world filled with Android devices that are generally very similar? Would you like a device that brings back that physical keyboard? Let us know in the comments below.