Earlier this year, BlackBerry the iconic smartphone brand announced that it will be parting ways with TCL Communications on August 31st. Notably, the two companies had entered into a strategic partnership back in 2016, where TCL had the license to design and sell BlackBerry devices. Now, ahead of the official date of termination, Blackberry has found a new licensing partner.
BlackBerry has entered into a partnership with a Texas-based startup named OnwardMobility. The new company has announced that a 5G-enabled BlackBerry smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard and Android OS will be launched in the first half of 2021.
BlackBerry will launch a 5G smartphone in Q1 2021
The company has revealed only a few details about the upcoming smartphone. It will feature a physical QWERTY keyboard, 5G support and run Android. OnwardMobility also revealed that the new BlackBerry phone will have a completely new keyboard design, but will continue to “reflect the brand values from a keyboard typing experience and input experience”. According to the report, the BlackBerry device will be competitively priced.
The new BlackBerry smartphone will be manufactured by FIH Mobile, which is a subsidiary of Foxconn (the company that also manufactures iPhones). Unfortunately, the company has confirmed the availability of the upcoming BlackBerry smartphone only in North America and Europe as of now. There’s no word on the global release of the handset at present.
John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry said, “BlackBerry is thrilled OnwardMobility will deliver a BlackBerry 5G smartphone device with 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.”