The iconic BlackBerry is “not dead” and is set to make a comeback in 2022, a Texas-based security solutions start-up said, reminding lovers of the legacy handset that a 5G BlackBerry smartphone will be launched this year. The note comes as BlackBerry pulled the plug on its devices earlier this month.
“Everyone has eagerly awaited additional information following our last announcement, but 2021 was truly a challenging year to launch a new phone, much less one with the high expectations we set and the fact that we want to get it right,” OnwardMobility said in a blog post, adding that the company “encountered various delays that prevented us from shipping in 2021”.
The new 5G BlackBerry smartphone will be based on Android with the inclusion of the physical keyboard. Apart from the physical keyboard and 5G, the new BlackBerry phone will also make a distinctive play for security with a list of enterprise-focused security features.
OnwardMobility, which was launched in March 2019, had earlier said that it had partnered with Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile to produce the new BlackBerry handset. It had also said that the phone will debut in North America and Europe.
BlackBerry had announced in December that services for “BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier versions” will not be available after January 4.
After the vintage phones were discontinued, many users took to social media to bid them farewell.
"Like so many of us, I stopped using my beloved BlackBerry mobile phone a few years ago, but am still sad to see its official end today,” CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer tweeted, along with a photo of him holding up the device. “Thanks BlackBerry for doing what you did.”