It seems like a lifetime ago that BlackBerry dominated the smartphone market. They had a full QWERTY keyboard and the best email security, making them the obvious choice for business users. A lot has changed since then. For starters, the company abandoned its operating system and moved to Android. Then they announced that they would no longer produce hardware. The days of the BlackBerry were gone, or so we thought.
Today, OnwardMobility announced that they have entered into a partnership with the Waterloo tech company to produce a new 5G enabled smartphone. This phone will, of course, have a physical keyboard. It will also incorporate the latest Android functionality. Citing the constant threat of cyber attacks in the press release, the company feels that there is a need for a secure, feature-rich 5G device. It also cites that organizations face complex challenges when it comes to deploying productive devices for their teams.
“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.”
“BlackBerry is thrilled OnwardMobility will deliver a BlackBerry 5G smartphone device with a 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.
The device’s market development and product planning will be headed by OnwardMobility. Under the strict and watchfull eye of BlackBerry, FIH Mobile will design and manufacture the devices.
I have to admit that I am biased on this one. As a former BlackBerry user and employee, it as so good to see the brand come back to the market. There is a lot of substance in this press release about the demand for security right now. With the world working from home it’s no surprise that cyber attacks are on the rise. I hope that these devices do well and that BlackBerry is able to grab enough of the market to sustain business in the smartphone market.