The once-respected BlackBerry model has been licensed but once more by an organization hoping to make use of a well-known title to make a dent within the aggressive Android telephone market. This time, it’s a brand new Texas startup named OnwardMobility that’s taking the reins, promising to launch a 5G BlackBerry system with Android and a bodily QWERTY keyboard in 2021.
Little else is thought concerning the system, together with display dimension or inner specs, however OnwardMobility told The Register it might include a very new keyboard design that may “reflect the brand values from a keyboard typing experience and input experience.” Which, yeah, positive! I like to replicate model values. Do it on a regular basis.
It appears OnwardMobility might be angling the system to enterprise clients, emphasizing the telephone’s potential to get work completed on the go (certainly much less of a attract a pandemic?) and its safety features. This all is sensible, contemplating these have been the attributes that attracted so many shoppers to BlackBerry gadgets up to now.
It additionally appears the system gained’t be flagship customary, however most likely a wholesome midrange. As OnwardMobility CEO Peter Franklin advised The Register: “Top of mind for us is not just making the most secure and productive device, but also being an everyday device. That means things like a top-notch camera, and the other specs you’d expect from your day-to-day phone. Simultaneously, we know that we must be competitive, and so is our pricing.”
It’s price remembering simply how bizarre BlackBerry’s journey has been as a model. BlackBerry gadgets have been monarchs of the cellular world within the late aughts, however then Android and iOS took off and gross sales took a nosedive.
There was a reboot of types from 2013 onward, when numerous gadgets working BlackBerry 10 have been launched (together with the fantastically square-shaped BlackBerry Passport). Then, in 2015, the corporate lastly switched to Android with the BlackBerry Priv and its slide-out keyboard. In 2016, it stopped making its personal telephones altogether and licensed the model to Chinese producer TCL. TCL will lose rights to that model as of August 31st this 12 months, which apparently cleared the best way for OnwardMobility to maneuver in. (A aspect observe: Indian telecoms agency Optiemus Infracom has additionally made its personal BlackBerry-branded Android gadgets, however they’re solely accessible within the Indian market.)
That makes this both the fourth or fifth iteration of BlackBerry gadgets, relying on the way you wish to depend them. And name us foolish, silly, or simply plain morbid, however we’re nonetheless very curious to see precisely what OnwardMobility comes up with.
The new telephone might be manufactured by FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of producing big Foxconn. It’ll be accessible in North America and Europe “in the first half of 2021.”