The glory days of BlackBerry are long gone but the brand is seeking a comeback. Back in August last year, there were reports that a BlackBerry 5G phone with a keyboard will launch this year. In a recent interview with Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility (new operators of BlackBerry), he reiterated that the company will release a 5G phone this year. According to Franklin, the phone will come with a classic BlackBerry keyboard.
After failing to meet with the trend of smartphones, BlackBerry was first acquired in 2013. After that, it reached an agreement with TCL and BlackBerry Mobile in 2016 and launched several new phones. At the beginning of 2020, the cooperation between the two companies ended, and OnwardMobility took over. Now, BlackBerry 5G phone, its first 5G device will come from OnwardMobility
The company is currently cooperating with Foxconn to jointly develop the new BlackBerry 5G phone. According to previous reports, the company will release this product in North America and Europe. However, Franklin claims that Asia is a very important market, and the BlackBerry 5G phone will arrive in Asia.
As of now, there is no official launch date for this device. However, OnwardMobility hopes to release it as soon as possible. Franklin also said, “We are promoting to customers and sellers around the world, introducing product sales plans.”
Some significant changes since the start of BlackBerry
- In 1984, Canadian RIM (Research In Motion) Company was established;
- In 1999, the BlackBerry mobile phone was founded, and gained the favor of the American upper-class people through the 9/11 incident;
- Eleven years later, in 2008, the first BlackBerry smartphone hit the market;
- On January 30, 2013 – company’s name changes from “RIM” to “BlackBerry”;
- In September 2013, the number of BlackBerry users in the United States hit its peak, with approximately 85 million users;
- In September 2016, TCL acquired the rights to the BlackBerry brand and released four devices. It also authorized BB Merah Putih in Indonesia and Optiemus Infracom in India to use its brands in some regions;
- On February 4, 2020 – the discontinuation of BlackBerry phones
- On August 19, 2020 – Onward Mobility has authorization to “BlackBerry”
According to Onward Mobility, these new phones will be “highly secure”. The company also claims that it will offer a “suite of end-to-end security solutions”. Nevertheless, the manufacturer did not elucidate on the security features and solutions. In all, Onward Mobility is pretty young thus there are some concerns about its ability to revive a “dead” BlackBerry.