Zombie BlackBerrys! QWERTY BlackBerry Android phones are coming back

Zombie BlackBerrys QWERTY BlackBerry Android phones are coming back

Like a foul zombie film sequel, BlackBerry telephones are getting back from the useless, a second time. After TCL tried and didn’t make a enterprise out of licensing the BlackBerry model and promoting Android telephones, a brand new startup known as OnwardMobility seems like it’s going to decide up primarily the identical playbook in 2021.

There aren’t too many particulars but, however OnwardMobility put out a press release and website detailing the brand new BlackBerry cellphone plan. The firm says it’s going to make “a new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with physical keyboard, in the first half of 2021 in North America and Europe.” The press launch additionally mentions that “BlackBerry smartphones are known for protecting communications, privacy, and data,” so count on a lot of encryption. There are additionally a number of nods to enterprise clients—actually, all of it seems like the identical outdated BlackBerry.

BlackBerry-branded telephones from BlackBerry died in 2016 when the corporate give up the handset manufacturing enterprise. BlackBerry caught with its personal in-house OSes for too lengthy whereas the Android and iOS duopoly took over the world, and the corporate’s gross sales tanked. It wasn’t till 2015 that BlackBerry made its first Android system, the BlackBerry Priv, however by then it was a “bet the company” scenario and the Priv flopped. BlackBerry ended up licensing the model to Chinese firm TCL Communication, which went on to provide some shamelessly rebranded slab telephones and some faithful-but-expensive QWERTY bar telephones just like the BlackBerry KeyOne and the Key2. TCL wasn’t any extra profitable than BlackBerry promoting Android telephones, and in February 2020, BlackBerry introduced that TCL was strolling away. The TCL licensing deal really expires on the finish of this month, and BlackBerry already has a brand new suitor lined up.

OnwardMobility’s press launch says BlackBerry and FIH Mobile might be concerned within the design and manufacturing of the brand new units, which is an efficient signal. FIH Mobile is a Foxconn subsidiary. While “Foxconn” is a contract producer that can simply construct your design, the FIH Mobile wing of Foxconn is a turn-key smartphone operation that does product improvement and design, manufacturing, and after-sales companies and repairs. FIH Mobile presently handles the manufacturing and design for HMD’s Nokia telephones, which we’re enormous followers of.

When TCL signed its BlackBerry deal, it did not simply license the model, it additionally bought a license for BlackBerry’s keyboard patents, letting it make authentic-feeling QWERTY pads. The press launch would not outright point out patents, however it does say BlackBerry is concerned within the design, suggesting it signed an analogous deal.

The BlackBerry Android traces from BlackBerry correct and TCL each had the benefit of being principally the one {hardware} QWERTY Android telephones available on the market, however twice now customers haven’t proven an enormous quantity of curiosity in that concept. It’s not clear why OnwardMobility thinks it could possibly succeed the place TCL failed, however we’ll see what the corporate’s gross sales pitch is like when the cellphone launches subsequent yr.

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