Android-powered BlackBerry smartphone with physical keyboard and 5G connectivity is coming in 2021

Highlights
  • OnwardMobility has announced the partnership with BlackBerry and FIH Mobile to produce and sell new BlackBerry phones
  • OnwardMobility will launch the first Android-powered 5G BlackBerry smartphone with a physical keyboard in the first-half of 2021
  • The phone will launch in North America and Europe

In February 2020, TCL Communications announced the end of the partnership with BlackBerry, and the company will no longer sell the BlackBerry-branded smartphones starting August 31, 2020. On Wednesday, a Texas-based startup company named OnwardMobility announced the partnership with BlackBerry and Foxconn subsidiary, FIH Mobile, to produce and sell new BlackBerry smartphones.

OnwardMobility will launch the first Android-powered 5G BlackBerry smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard in the first-half of 2021. The phone will launch in North America and Europe. The specification details, including screen size, processor, storage, and RAM, are yet to be revealed by the company. However, in an interview with The Register, Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility, said, “the device would use a clean-sheet keyboard created in-house, rather than reuse a design previously used by BlackBerry.”

He added, “Top of mind for us is not just making the most secure and productive device, but also being an everyday device. That means things like a top-notch camera, and the other specs you’d expect from your day-to-day phone. Simultaneously, we know that we must be competitive, and so our pricing.”

John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry, said, “BlackBerry is thrilled OnwardMobility will deliver a BlackBerry 5G smartphone device with a 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.”

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