Earlier this month, reports detailed the alleged death of OnwardMobility’s 5G BlackBerry smartphone. There were a few possible causes for the phone’s demise, including that BlackBerry pulled its licensing agreement with OnwardMobility. However, OnwardMobility has confirmed that it’s not just the 5G BlackBerry — the whole company is dead too.
“We want to thank you all for the tremendous amount of support that you have given us since we first launched OnwardMobility. However, it is with great sadness that we announce that OnwardMobility will be shutting down, and we will no longer be proceeding with the development of an ultra-secure smartphone with a physical keyboard.
“Please know that this was not a decision that we made lightly or in haste. We share your disappointment in this news and assure you this is not the outcome we worked and hoped for.
“We are incredibly grateful to the team of seasoned professionals who worked tirelessly on this project and to each and every one of our loyal fans and partners who have supported us throughout this journey. It has been a pleasure to work with all of you and hear your comments and feedback.”
Prior reporting said that OnwardMobility had lost the rights to use the BlackBerry name after the company’s CEO, John Chen, pulled the licensing agreement. OnwardMobility’s claim that it didn’t make the decision “lightly” seems to reference that. Additionally, Android Police reports that OnwardMobility filed for bankruptcy.
This seems like the final nail in the coffin for the 5G BlackBerry smartphone and, likely, the end of BlackBerry smartphones for the foreseeable future. Unless BlackBerry (the company) decides to license the brand to another smartphone manufacturer — which seems unlikely given Chen reportedly isn’t interested in doing that anymore — there won’t be anyone making BlackBerry smartphones.
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