Earlier this year BlackBerry announced the end of its partnership with TCL Communication, the company that was producing the latest BlackBerry-branded phones. BlackBerry decided back in 2016 to stop making its own phones, and to license its brand out instead. But after many years of failure, the BlackBerry name is ready to come back strong.
Today, OnwardMobility – a start-up from Texas – announced it reached an agreement with BlackBerry for a licensing deal. The company promises to deliver a new 5G Android smartphone with a physical keyboard, in the first half of 2021 in North America and Europe.
Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility said “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.”
There are no details about the device’s appearance or specs just yet, but the agreement also involves FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group. The partnership is meant to “ensure world-class design and manufacturing of the devices.”
BlackBerry was a huge hit in the early 2000s when no one thought it could get any better than its classic keyboard which made typing a lot easier than numeric keyboards. Since then there were numerous failed attempts to resurrect the brand, but with no success. We’ll see if this latest partnership will strike gold.