BlackBerry Handsets are Returning to the Market
Only days before a brand licensing deal with TCL Communication expired, US company OnwardMobility announced a deal with BlackBerry. They will develop and release a 5G handset bearing the famous name for the European and North American market.
OnwardMobility describes itself as a producer of secure mobile devices targeted at enterprises. The comapny also announced an agreement with Foxconn’s FIH Mobile for design and manufacture of the devices. It plans to launch its 5G BlackBerry in the first half of 2021. The device will run Android and feature a physical keyboard. It will be targeted at providing secure communications for public and private sector organisations, including those in the so-called gig economy.
“Enterprise professionals are eager for secure 5G devices that enable productivity, without sacrificing the user experience. BlackBerry smartphones are known for protecting communications, privacy, and data,” said Peter Franklin, OnwardMobilitiy CEO.
TCL held the rights to produce devices using the BlackBerry name for four years, but in February announced its arrangement was due to conclude at the end of this month, throwing doubt over the future of the iconic handset brand. BlackBerry gave-up producing its own handsets in 2016.