In the era of smartphones, it seems like Blackberry may not have a place in the market. But BlackBerry isn’t giving up! Despite news back in February putting BlackBerry to an indefinite end, news that Blackberry will be making a comeback has surfaced.
The reason why BlackBerry was seemingly coming to an end was due to the fact that their partnership with TCL was reaching its end this 31 August 2020. This BlackBerry-TCL partnership dates back to 2016 and led to their first wave of devices being the DTEK50, DTEK60 and BlackBerry Keyone. These were designed and built by TCL and ran secure software by BlackBerry.
Now a new partnership has formed between OnwardMobility and FIH Mobile Limited. With this new partnership, OnwardMobility will be conducting product planning and market development for BlackBerry smartphones while FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn, will design and manufacture the devices.
There’s not a lot of information on what the device will have but according to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, you can definitely expect a physical keyboard and 5G. His statement: “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.”
The device is expected to launch in the first half of 2021 for North America and Europe first.
BlackBerry In Malaysia
BlackBerry last released a smartphone in Malaysia back in 2018, called the KEY2. Utilising Android with a QWERTY keyboard, it still comes packed with BlackBerry’s suite of enterprise solutions and was priced at RM2599, which is definitely expensive in today’s standards.
Will people still be interested in a physical keyboard smartphone, especially in a time where smartphones have mainly been nothing but screens? Guess we’ll find out when Blackberry makes their comeback, as there’s still hope that there’s a market for them.