When BlackBerry announced that their (mostly) global partnership with TCL would end on August 31st of this year, it seemed likely the BlackBerry phone brand would be all but dead.
“BlackBerry is thrilled OnwardMobility will deliver a BlackBerry 5G smartphone device with physical keyboard leveraging our high standards of trust and security synonymous with our brand. We are excited that customers will experience the enterprise and government level security and mobile productivity the new BlackBerry 5G smartphone will offer.”John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry
We reviewed some of TCL’s BlackBerry devices in the past and they’ve been pretty decent mid-range phones. The allure of them, of course, is the physical keyboard, as well as additional productivity and security. The new 5G BlackBerry smartphone won’t deviate from that design element and will include a physical keyboard when it is released in the first half of 2021.
With the new agreement, BlackBerry is granting OnwardMobility the right to develop, engineer, and bring this latest 5G smartphone to North American and European markets. BlackBerry will be working closely with both OnwardMobility and FIH Mobile (a Foxconn subsidiary) to ensure “world-class design and manufacturing.”
“Enterprise professionals are eager for secure 5G devices that enable productivity, without sacrificing the user experience. BlackBerry smartphones are known for protecting communications, privacy, and data. This is an incredible opportunity for OnwardMobility to bring next-generation 5G devices to market with the backing of BlackBerry and FIH Mobile.”Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility
OnwardMobility will conduct product planning and market development for BlackBerry smartphones in North America and FIH Mobile will design and manufacture the BlackBerry devices under strict guidelines to ensure component, device, and supply chain integrity.
What do you think about the BlackBerry partnership with OnwardMobility and FIH Mobile? Are you excited about a 5G smartphone with a physical keyboard? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, or MeWe.