BlackBerry was one of the most important companies in the pre-smartphone era. It was often the choice of business customers and also was the phone’s choice of many governments. With the rise of smartphones with touchscreen and advanced Operating Systems, the company’s devices with their iconic QWERTY keyboard started to lose relevance. The Canadian firm tried to stay firm for a lot of years betting on its BlackBerry OS. The company even offered support for Android apps, but the experience was far from ideal. A couple of years ago, we saw a couple of devices like the BlackBerry Priv and Blackberry KEY series. These devices tried to unite the physical keyboard experience with touchscreens but didn’t find a place among the completion. Still, a new report indicates that BlackBerry smartphones will return to the market soon.
Onward Mobility to bring new BlackBerry smartphones soon
For those unaware, the BlackBerry brand has been part of Onward Mobility’s portfolio since August 2020. However, up to the moment, the company only made empty promises about new BlackBerry smartphones. Now, things seem to be starting to materialize into something. The company announced a pre-commitment program, suggesting a new handset might finally be on the way.
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The program is basically a subscription list for partners and fans. These will be able to receive “product, feature, and availability updates” before the general public. The landing page on Onward Mobility’s website also says these people and organizations can provide direct input and influence features and functionality. The most interesting feature is the hint that a new smartphone is under development.
Worth noting that Onward Mobility has certain expertise on the security feature. However, the company has no experience in the field of mobile hardware. That explains why it is turning to partners like telecoms and influencers who know the audience better. We assume that the company will likely rely on an ODM, probably from China, for the manufacture of the BlackBerry smartphones.
Many questions are floating around the return of BlackBerry smartphones. In an example, we believe that many of us are asking if the company will keep insisting on a hybrid experience with touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard, or will it finally dive into the world of full-screen devices? The fact is that we’ve to use large screens with minimal bezels that a device with a physical keyboard may not convince anymore. Of course, those who enjoy the experience will still find some usefulness in this design. It’s not just a mere look at the past, but something that helps BlackBerry to differentiate. The question is if users still need this differentiation.