RIP BlackBerry devices; OnwardMobility announces closure

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As we all know, BlackBerry used to be the king of smartphones — at least in the business world. Years ago, the company stopped making physical devices but the name lived on through various other companies who licensed it to continue making BlackBerry smartphones. Unfortunately, the latest to do so — OnwardMobility — has announced it is closing its doors, killing the anticipated 5G BlackBerry device with a keyboard.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

When BlackBerry shifted focus to software solutions, many long-term users of their smartphones known for their physical keyboards were disappointed. Fortunately, the company was willing to license the name and the phones lived on for a while. We had the opportunity to review a few in the BlackBerry Key series which were manufactured by TCL. Once you got used to having a physical keyboard, which reduced the screen size, they were pretty decent and efficient for work purposes.

Back in 2020, that licensing agreement between the two companies wasn’t renewed, putting the possibility of future devices in limbo. Fortunately, later that year, OnwardMobility announced its agreement with BlackBerry and started to work on a 5G version of the smartphone. Unfortunately, that dream is dead as the company has updated its website with an announcement stating that they are shutting its doors.

“To all of our valued followers, supporters and partners:

“We want to thank you all for the tremendous amount of support that you have given us since we first launched OnwardMobility. However, it is with great sadness that we announce that OnwardMobility will be shutting down, and we will no longer be proceeding with the development of an ultra-secure smartphone with a physical keyboard.

“Please know that this was not a decision that we made lightly or in haste. We share your disappointment in this news and assure you this is not the outcome we worked and hoped for.

“We are incredibly grateful to the team of seasoned professionals who worked tirelessly on this project and to each and every one of our loyal fans and partners who have supported us throughout this journey. It has been a pleasure to work with all of you and hear your comments and feedback.

“Thank you for all your support and we wish you all the best!

“The OnwardMobility Team”

OnwardMobility website

What do you think about the OnwardMobility shutting its doors, effectively killing hopes for a new BlackBerry device with a physical keyboard? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.


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