BlackBerry is back! The iconic smartphone brand seemed to have disappeared, but thanks to a new cooperation agreement we can expect a new model in 2021, with 5G and of course a physical keyboard.
Before there were smartphones, BlackBerry already had a number of functions on its devices that we now take for granted. Later, however, the brand stuck to its closed operating system for too long and innovated too slowly. In this way, BlackBerry increasingly faded into the background compared to more popular brands such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei.
In 2015, BlackBerry switched to Android, but a year later the company announced it would stop designing smartphones itself. Then the Chinese multinational TCL Communication stepped into the breach. They obtained the license for the BlackBerry Mobile name and released several models. It was not a great success and TCL’s license will expire at the end of this month.
New model in 2021
That seemed to be the end of BlackBerry, but this week there was still surprising news. The Canadian company has concluded a new cooperation agreement. The Texan start-up OnwardMobility acquires the rights to the name BlackBerry Mobile.
Together with FIH Mobile Limited, part of Foxconn, they want to market a new line of smartphones in 2021 under the name BlackBerry. FIH Mobile will design and manufacture the devices, while OnwardMobility will be responsible for market development. The intention is to launch the first new BlackBerry in North America and Europe in the first half of 2021.
In contrast to previous years, OnwardMobility wants to re-focus on the business market. “Professionals want secure 5G devices that enable productivity without sacrificing user experience,” explains Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility. “BlackBerry smartphones are known for protecting communications, privacy and data.”
“BlackBerry is pleased that OnwardMobility will create a 5G smartphone with a physical keyboard, taking into account the high security standards synonymous with our brand,” added John Chen, BlackBerry CEO.