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'We're not dead': BlackBerry set to make a comeback in 2022 with 5G phone

The new 5G BlackBerry smartphone, to be launched by OnwardMobility, will be based on Android with the inclusion of the physical keyboard.

January 12, 2022 / 11:36 AM IST
The BlackBerry 5G phones will have physical keyboards. l@BlackBerryBrad)

The BlackBerry 5G phones will have physical keyboards. l@BlackBerryBrad)

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.

The Texas firm, OnwardMobility, had announced in 2020 itself that it is bringing back the BlackBerry brand, and was set to launchthe 5G set in 2021.

“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.”

BlackBerry phones had numerours celebrity fans, including American reality TV star Kim Kardashian. She had tweeted about bidding goodbye to her BlackBerry Bold device in 2016.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 12, 2022 11:28 am