5G BlackBerry phone is still coming: “We are not dead”

(Pocket-lint) – Since we’ve not seen a new BlackBerry phone in over three years, and since BlackBerry switched off its services for good this week, it would be easy to assume that BlackBerry – as a phone brand – is dead. 

That is not the case, according to OnwardMobility, the company that picked up the license to produce BlackBerry phones in 2020. 

In a blog post, the company has reiterated its desire to launch a 5G BlackBerry phone, even though it is now a significantly delayed launch. 

OnwardMobility originally planned to launch a 5G BlackBerry-branded smartphone in 2021, but news on the device has been incredibly light since the original announcement, made in August 2020. 

2021 came and went without a phone, and without much in the way of news from the manufacturer. But in its post published on 6 January, it noted that 2021 was an incredibly challenging year, and so delays – sadly – were unavoidable. 

Given how many big-name manufacturers have struggled with delays launching popular mainstream products, it’s no surprise that a new startup attempting to build its first device suffered too. 

While we’ve still not seen any sneak peaks or images of the phone, the company states it’s still planning to bring an “ultra-secure 5G enterprise smartphone” with a keyboard, to market. 

Like those launched under TCL between 2016 and 2018, it’s almost certainly going to be an Android phone and one that doesn’t need the old BlackBerry services in order to simply function. Apart from that, little is known or can be guessed at. 

Let’s hope – for the sake of the remaining BlackBerry fans – that 2022 is a kinder year to OnwardMobility, if only so we can finally get a glimpse of this long-awaited rebirth. 

Writing by Cam Bunton. Originally published on 7 January 2022.

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