The BlackBerry 5G was announced by Onward Mobility in 2020, claiming it would arrive by 2021. Unfortunately, the pandemic meant that the company couldn’t push through the launch. Onward Mobility has now published a brief statement explaining the delay, adding that its “ultra-secure 5G enterprise smartphone” is not dead.
“While we encountered various delays that prevented us from shipping in 2021, we will be providing more regular updates starting this month that will clarify and answer many of your questions about the ultra-secure 5G enterprise smartphone (still with a keyboard!) we’re bringing to market,” Onward Mobility said in a release.
BlackBerry as a brand is all but dead as the company officially ended support for BlackBerry OS last week. But there was a lingering hope of a comeback after Onward Mobility announced a deal with Foxconn subsidiary FIH in 2020 to produce the BlackBerry 5G. Although the device was to arrive in 2021, Onward Mobility went quiet, leading many to question the company’s tactics.
Onward Mobility CEO said in 2020 that the BlackBerry 5G would sell “at a competitive price point”
This clarification by the company serves as a reminder that the BlackBerry 5G is indeed on its way. But it would take a miracle to deliver the smartphone this year. All we know right now is that this phone would offer a QWERTY keyboard similar to legacy BlackBerry devices. Information on other hardware specifications such as the display, processor, cameras, and so on is unavailable.
Onward Mobility CEO Peter Franklin said in 2020 that the BlackBerry 5G would have “all the attributes and functions of today’s most sophisticated” devices. Franklin went on to say that the smartphone would sell “at a competitive price point.”
BlackBerry’s fanbase was diminishing long before TCL took over the brand in 2016. Many blamed BlackBerry’s demise on its inability to adapt to the competition (Android and iOS) when they were first emerging. This renewed effort to bring back the once-iconic smartphone brand could offer some respite for fans of mobile QWERTY keyboards.
Despite staying quiet for most of 2021, Onward Mobility made some key hires to prepare for the BlackBerry 5G. The company appointed a new business head for Europe and a Director of Government Sales in February last year.