BlackBerry Logo on deviceSource: CrackBerry

While many folks wrote off the possibility of future BlackBerry smartphones after TCL announced they would no longer design, manufacture, or sell any new BlackBerry devices, it turns that might have been too quick of a judgment. A new joint announcement from BlackBerry, OnwardMobility, and FIH Mobile lays out the plans for a new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with a physical keyboard to be brought to market in North America, and Europe within the first half of 2021.

"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."

As part of the announcement, John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry noted:

"BlackBerry is thrilled OnwardMobility will deliver a BlackBerry 5G smartphone device with 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,"

The press release is short on specific device details outside of saying it will run Android, feature a physical keyboard, and be 5G capable. Still, OnwardMobility has full reign to do product planning and market development. At the same time, FIH Mobile will design and manufacture the devices under BlackBerry's strict guidelines.

We can expect to hear more from BlackBerry and OnwardMobility as we head into 2021, but for now, let me know how you all feel about this announcement in the comments or the CrackBerry Forums!

Press Release

OnwardMobility Announces Agreements with BlackBerry and Foxconn Subsidiary FIH Mobile To Bring BlackBerry 5G Smartphones to Market

New BlackBerry 5G smartphone will be publicly available in the first half of 2021

Austin, Texas – August 19, 2020 – OnwardMobility today announced agreements with BlackBerry (NYSE: BB; TSX:BB) and FIH Mobile Limited (HKG: 2038), a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, to deliver a new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with physical keyboard, in the first half of 2021 in North America and Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry grants OnwardMobility the right to develop, engineer, and bring to market a BlackBerry 5G mobile device. Working closely with OnwardMobility, BlackBerry and FIH Mobile will ensure world-class design and manufacturing of these devices.

With the increasing number of employees working remotely with critical data and applications, coupled with the constant threat of cyberattacks, there is an absolute need for a secure, feature-rich 5G-ready phone that enhances productivity. Employees are demanding better workplace technology experiences, and organizations are facing increasingly complex challenges in selecting, deploying, securing and managing devices to meet expectations and maximize employee productivity.

"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."

"Companies are rapidly investing in transformative technologies to improve productivity, but often don't place enough emphasis on security, particularly in their use of mobile devices," said analyst Jack Gold, President and Principal Analyst of J. Gold Associates, LLC. "With 5G quickly coming to market, and the acceleration it will cause in upgrading mobile devices and deploying productivity enhancing apps, deploying proven and highly secure products like the BlackBerry 5G devices in enterprises, government, and regulated industries like finance or legal, are mission critical."

"BlackBerry is thrilled OnwardMobility will deliver a BlackBerry 5G smartphone device with 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.

OnwardMobility will conduct product planning and market development for BlackBerry smartphones in North America and FIH Mobile will design and manufacture the BlackBerry devices under strict guidelines to ensure component, device and supply chain integrity.

"As an exclusive supplier to OnwardMobility, we're committed to delivering new BlackBerry 5G devices to market, utilizing our deep expertise in design, manufacturing, component supply and logistics management," said Dr. Wen-Yi Kuo, Executive Director, FIH Mobile.

About OnwardMobility

OnwardMobility is dedicated to producing the most productive, user-friendly and secure mobile devices for all businesses, from government to enterprise to those who power the gig economy. Security shapes every process involved in the development, design, supply chain sourcing and manufacture of all OnwardMobility devices. Our team is comprised of industry veterans and serial entrepreneurs with deep mobile, government and enterprise expertise. To learn more about our corporate mission, please visit: https://onwardmobility.com/ or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About FIH Mobile Limited

As a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group and a leader in the mobile device industry worldwide, FIH offers a vertically integrated design, development, and manufacturing services, that is a comprehensive range of end-to-end engineering services and manufacturing services to its customers in respect of handsets, mobile/wireless communication devices and consumer electronic products. In light of moving into Internet era and exploring new business opportunities, FIH has also been engaged in 5G, IoV (Internet of Vehicle) and AI for building up the Internet and the mobile ecosystem. Visit our website at http://www.fihmb.com/

About BlackBerry

BlackBerry (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) provides intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world. The company secures more than 500M endpoints including 175M cars on the road today. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company leverages AI and machine learning to deliver innovative solutions in the areas of cybersecurity, safety and data privacy solutions, and is a leader in the areas of endpoint security management, encryption, and embedded systems.  BlackBerry's vision is clear - to secure a connected future you can trust. For more information, visit BlackBerry.com and follow @BlackBerry.