New BlackBerry 5G smartphone coming in 2021

OnwardMobility, BlackBerry and Foxconn Subsidiary FIH Mobile To Bring BlackBerry 5G Smartphones to Market

Despite it’s many failures with their smartphones, it would appear that BlackBerry have not given up on producing smartphones. In a surprise announcement Wednesday, Startup OnwardMobility announced agreements with BlackBerry and FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn, to deliver a new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with physical keyboard, in the first half of 2021 in North America and Europe.

Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry has granted OnwardMobility, a US-based company in the mobile security space, the right to develop, engineer, and bring to market a BlackBerry 5G mobile device.

“Enterprise professionals are eager for secure 5G devices that enable productivity, without sacrificing the user experience,” said Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility.

“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.”

With the increasing number of employees working remotely with critical data and applications, coupled with the constant threat of cyber-attacks, BlackBerry says that there is an absolute need for a secure, feature-rich 5G-ready phone that enhances productivity.

Employees are demanding better workplace technology experiences, and organisations are facing increasingly complex challenges in selecting, deploying, securing and managing devices to meet expectations and maximise employee productivity.

OnwardMobility will conduct product planning and market development for BlackBerry smartphones in North America and FIH Mobile will design and manufacture the BlackBerry devices under strict guidelines to ensure component, device and supply chain integrity.

Onward Mobility is a company based in Texas, US, and claims to be focused on delivering mobile products that are all about usability, productivity and security

“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,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry.

No details beyond the facts that the smartphone will be an Android 5G device with a physical keyboard have been given. However, whether this will be a consumer device, or even available to consumers, will likely be a topic of discussion until further details are revealed as OnwardMobility state they have:

a clear mission to provide all businesses, from government to enterprise to those who power the gig economy—the most productive, most user-friendly and most secure mobile devices ever created. So nothing gets in the way of their mission.

However, OnwardMobility’s website says new BlackBerry 5G smartphones are coming in 2021, implying there will be more than one device.

Earlier this year, TCL announced that they would no longer design, manufacture, and sell BlackBerry-branded mobile devices anymore. There has not been a new BlackBerry phone in almost two years and OnwardMobility will really have a massive challenge on their hands.

Dr. Wen-Yi Kuo, Executive Director, FIH Mobile said:

“As an exclusive supplier to OnwardMobility, we’re committed to delivering new BlackBerry 5G devices to market, utilising our deep expertise in design, manufacturing, component supply and logistics management,”