5G BlackBerry smartphone is inching closer to the launch

(Image credit: BlackBerry)

Apple isn’t the only company in the smartphone ecosystem that has a fruit name. BlackBerry is another such brand, however, despite multiple attempts, the once-favourite smartphone maker had slowly faded away into oblivion.

Some time back it was reported that thanks to a US company OnwardMobility, a new BlackBerry 5G phone is in the works but we didn’t have any concrete information around its launch date.

Now OnwardMobility has hinted that a new 5G BlackBerry smartphone is approaching the launch cycle. The company has opened a “Pre-commitment Program” inviting enthusiasts to join the community. These enthusiasts and partners will not only receive first-hand information about the device but will be able to advise on new features and designs. These members as will also be able to get the phones ahead before anyone, once launched.

The landing page on OnwardMobility’s website reads, “OnwardMobility is launching a Pre-Commitment Program to expand our engagement with customers interested in purchasing the new and innovative BlackBerry 5G smartphones.”

Since making smartphones is not OnwardMobility’s core business and it has been involved in enterprise security software, it will need all the help and ideas from the users as well as telecom companies to understand what users need.

The Pre-commitment Program will also help build hype and anticipation around the upcoming device. That said, we still do not have concrete information about the phone’s availability nor have we heard about its features yet.

BlackBerry 5G Phone – What we already know 

To recall, OnwardMobility acquired the license to manufacture BlackBerry devices. The company will manufacture these phones with Foxconn, the well-known contract manufacturer that makes phones for various brands including Apple.

In a recent interview, Peter Franklin, OnwardMobility's CEO spoke about the plan of BlackBerry’s revival. He mentioned that the upcoming smartphone will come with a physical keyboard like the trusted old BlackBerry devices and will have 5G connectivity as well.

Most smartphones, including Android and iOS powered devices these days do not come with a physical keyboard and instead are moving towards an era of phones with foldable and rollable displays

He also mentioned that though not only the phone will offer enterprise-level data security that BlackBerry devices were known for, however, it will also come with a ‘top-of-the-line camera' since mobile photography has become a primary requirement for most users these days.

Is BlackBerry relevant in 2021?

Before Apple and Android took over the world, both Nokia and BlackBerry ruled the market. While Nokia had a massive user base in the consumer part of the business, BlackBerry was a synonym to enterprise devices.

However, both the companies were slow to adapt to the changing environment and bore the brunt of it. TCL made an unsuccessful attempt at reviving the brand under a licensing agreement, however, it also gave up in 2020.

Now that the market dynamics have changed and most smartphones come with a secured "Work Profile" to keep your professional data secure, it makes little sense for users to buy a phone that is specifically made for offering an additional layer of security to your data.

Additionally, the demand of smartphones with a physical keypad is almost negligible, the task for BlackBerry to create a space for itself looks difficult. 

That said, we will have to wait to see what OnwardMobility has got up its sleeves and is it enough to lure the loyal BlackBerry fans to buy the phones once again?

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Jitendra Soni

Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.