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New 5G Blackberry smartphone with physical keyboard inbound for 2021

The TCL-made Blackberry Keyone. (Image: Blackberry)
The TCL-made Blackberry Keyone. (Image: Blackberry)
Fans of physical keyboards will be excited to learn that there will be an all-new Blackberry smartphone launch in 2021. The makers say that it will be state-of-the-art and will also incorporate 5G connectivity.
Sanjiv Sathiah,

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Once the dominant name in the smartphone market, Blackberry handsets have struggled on despite the parent company officially bailing out of the smartphone business back in 2016. Most recently, TCL had licensed the Blackberry name and made branded devices between 2017 and 2020. With this deal set to expire at the end of this month, a new company dubbed OnwardMobility has picked up the mantle and has said it will launch a new Blackberry branded handset in 2021.

OnwardMobility is a US-based company that has been in business since 2008 with a focus on developing security-focused software. The company’s CEO, Peter Franklin, is formerly of Microsoft and Zynga and has a team of well-established mobile industry players on staff. Its announcement today came along with news that it is teaming with both Blackberry and Foxconn-owned FIH Mobile which will do most of the legwork on design and manufacturing the hardware.

On the surface, OnwardMobility and Blackberry should have good synergies given the latter’s reputation for mobile device security. Unsurprisingly, Franklin is bullish about the prospects of a 5G-enabled Blackberry device with a hardware-based keyboard coming to market. In his view, the current global circumstances make a secure workhorse mobile a must-have, so it will be interesting just how compelling its 5G Blackberry is when it hits the market next year.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1290 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 08 > New 5G Blackberry smartphone with physical keyboard inbound for 2021
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-08-20 (Update: 2020-08-20)