In late 2020 we heard that yet another attempt to revive the BlackBerry phone brand was in the works, this time from US company OnwardMobility, and it seems the first new Blackberry phone could get a release schedule soon.
Financial paper Nikkei Asia (opens in new tab) spoke to Peter Franklin, OnwardMobility's CEO, as part of a report on this Blackberry revival. A few important pieces of information are mentioned in the article, but the key one is that 'more details will be announced within the next few months'.
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That makes it sound like we could hear a release date for the first BlackBerry revival phone very soon, or at least find out more about the new smartphone, although according to Franklin, the company is still in the process of developing its distribution plan.
Elsewhere in the article, we learn that OnwardMobility is making the new BlackBerry phones with Foxconn, a company that manufactures smartphones, Kindles, games consoles and more. We'd already heard the new phones will have physical keyboards and 5G connectivity, but in this new article, we hear having a 'top-of-the-line camera' is a focus too.
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While BlackBerry devices were all the rage many years ago, the original manufacturer ceased production in 2016. Rights to making devices under the brand name passed to Chinese corporation TCL until 2020, when TCL ditched the license, and that's when OnwardMobility got its hands on the name.
It seems that OnwardMobility thinks it can make it succeed where TCL and BlackBerry Limited failed, though only time will tell.
There's certainly a market for phones with physical keyboards, albeit a slim one - the F(x)tec Pro1 in 2019 had such a slide-out board - but we'll have to see if the new BlackBerry phone has more tricks, specs and features up its sleeves to make it an attractive proposition.
By the sounds of it, we'll hear more about this new BlackBerry phone in the coming months, and we'll bring you all the latest information as and when we get it.