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BlackBerry to launch smartphones with Qwerty keypad and 5G support in 2021

Ankita Chakravarti     August 20, 2020

Smartphone maker Blackberry is all set to make a comeback in the smartphone market in 2021. The highly-acclaimed smartphone brand had announced its separation from TCL communications earlier this year as a result of which TCL stopped manufacturing phones for BlackBerry. However, just when everyone thought that BlackBerry has shut its shops, the company found new takers in OnwardMobility and FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group.

Announcing the partnership with Onward mobility, John Chen, Executive Chairman, and CEO, BlackBerry said in a statement, "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."

The Onward mobility group had confirmed acquiring the license to BlackBerry and also divulged its plans of coming up with a new device by next year. Although the company did not reveal any details about the upcoming smartphone, it is expected to be different from the TCL-manufactured BlackBerry phones that we have seen in the past. In a statement to The Register, Onward Mobility CEO said that they would use a "clean-sheet keyboard" which will be created by the company instead of reusing the design which was earlier crafted by the TCL. The company also told the website that the redesigned keypad would "reflect the brand values from a keyboard typing experience and input experience."

It was announced that BlackBerry smartphones will feature QWERTY keypads and 5G support. Interestingly, smartphones will run on Android software. Although not much has been revealed about the devices, it is being speculated that it wouldn't be a flagship device but a feature-packed mid-ranger. Talking about the same, Onward mobility CEO Peter Franklin told The Register, "Top of mind for us is not just making the most secure and productive device, but also being an everyday device. That means things like a top-notch camera, and the other specs you'd expect from your day-to-day phone. Simultaneously, we know that we must be competitive, and so is our pricing."

The companies have revealed that the smartphones will be initially available in North America and European markets. However, no details about the India launch was revealed. But looking at the past trends, one can be sure to find the new BlackBerry smartphones in the Indian market too.

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