BlackBerry is set to launch a new 5G smartphone in 2021, after partnering with Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile and Texas-based OnwardMobility.
The new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone will feature a physical keyboard, and will be be marketed towards business professionals.
“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,” said BlackBerry CEO John Chen, in a press release.
Earlier this year, China-based TCL announced that it would stop selling BlackBerry-branded devices in 2020, and that it had no further rights to design or manufacture new BlackBerry smartphones.
It appears that BlackBerry’s partnership with OnwardMobility is similar to the one it had with TCL, in the sense that it will be given a license to manufacture smartphones under the BlackBerry brand.
“BlackBerry smartphones are known for protecting communications, privacy, and data. This is an incredible opportunity for OnwardMobility to bring next-generation 5G devices to market with the backing of BlackBerry and FIH Mobile,” said OnwardMobility CEO Peter Franklin.
The smartphone is expected to launch in North America and Europe in the first half of 2021, so we have a bit of a wait to see what it’ll look like.
It’ll be interesting to see what the device will entail and if there will be a market for a keyboard-equipped phone in 2020.
The last BlackBerry device to be released in North America was the BlackBerry Key2 LE.