It’s the brand that won’t die, as OnwardMobility has announced it is bringing a 5G Blackberry with traditional keyboard to market in 2021.
Once the king of the smartphone arena, Blackberry was the device of choice for professionals and consumers alike. The company was known for enterprise-grade mobile software, combined with the best QUERTY keyboard in the business.
Unfortunately for the company, the introduction of the iPhone caught it off-guard and it lost its dominance. Since then, the core company has switched its focus to software, with a strong emphasis on security. Meanwhile, Blackberry has licensed the right to create Blackberry hardware to outside companies, OnwardMobility being the current one.
According to an interview with Naoki Watanabe, a writer with Nikkei, CEO and Founder Peter Franklin said OnwardMobility is planning to bring 5G-enabled Blackberry phones, complete with the quintessential QUERTY keyboard, to the US and Europe in 2021. While there is not a definite timeline, OnwardMobility hopes to release in Asia as soon as possible.
“It is a global flagship device, and Asia is very important to us,” Franklin said . “We are in the process of speaking to customers and mobile carriers on a global scale to develop our distribution plan.”
Franklin and company are hoping to capitalize on the current remote work trends as a result of the pandemic. Because more people are working from home, there is a renewed focus on mobile devices that can help them be more productive, with Franklin touting the new Blackberry as just such a device.
“Our smartphones equipped with a physical keyboard can help boost productivity”, Franklin added.
It remains to be seen if OnwardMobility will be able to make a dent in the market, but there’s sure to be at least some demand for a powerful, modern Blackberry, not to mention that legendary keyboard.