What you need to know
- OnwardMobility has opened up registrations for its upcoming BlackBerry smartphone.
- Sign-ups will get updates on the upcoming device first and can help shape its development.
- The 5G BlackBerry smartphone was expected to arrive in the first half of 2021.
OnwardMobility wants you to know that BlackBerry is still alive and that a new smartphone is on the way. At least, that's what's indicated by the company's new "Pre-Commitment Program" for consumers interested in the upcoming Android device.
The program provides those interested with first dibs on updates regarding the development, features, and availability of the elusive device. It will also allow fans to provide input on the development, allowing them to "directly influence product features and functionality."
Talk of a new 5G BlackBerry device with a physical keyboard began last year when the partnership with OnwardMobility was announced, signaling yet another return for BlackBerry phones. That came mere months after BlackBerry's partnership with TCL ended, seeing sales of its devices come to a halt.
OnwardMobility is a company focused on secure mobile solutions for enterprises and businesses, making it a good fit for BlackBerry. When the partnership was announced alongside Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile Limited, BlackBerry CEO John Chen stated that the company was thrilled to work with OnwardMobility to "deliver a BlackBerry 5G smartphone device with physical keyboard leveraging our high standards of trust and security synonymous with our brand."
While the first product to leverage the new partnership was expected "in the first half of 2021 in North America and Europe," no such device came. Now as we enter the second half of the year, the company's want to remind us that things are still chugging along for a new BlackBerry device, although the new program suggests that there may still be some time before it reaches consumers.
Still, anyone who signs up will have the opportunity to pre-order the device when it becomes available and receive it before others.
A new BlackBerry is unlikely to compete in a significant way with the best Android phones, such as those from Samsung which already feature their own enterprise-grade security. However, it's still possible that it will find its niche like previous devices did, including the fairly well-received BlackBerry Key2. In a sea of all-screen smartphones, BlackBerry could be a breath of fresh air for some.
Knox on wood
The Samsung Galaxy S21 is a powerful smartphone thanks to the impressive Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and stellar camera array. It's also an incredibly secure device with Samsung's enterprise-level Knox security platform built into all of its latest devices.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.