The OnwardMobility startup, which took over ownership of the BlackBerry brand in 2020, has announced that it’s running a BlackBerry 5G smartphone with a physical keyboard. The BlackBerry 5G was supposed to come out in 2021, but due to the semiconductor crisis, the phone release was moved to 2022. However, according to a report by Kevin Michaluk (founder of CrackBerry, the community and a resource for all BlackBerry-related things) and Android Police (the popular website dedicated to news about Android platforms), the BlackBerry 5G smartphone has been canceled.
Namely, OnwardMobility doesn’t continue to work on reviving BlackBerry, because it lost the rights to the BlackBerry brand. BlackBerry seems to want to separate itself even more from the mobile device market, and when you add to that the sale of BlackBerry’s patents related to mobile devices, messaging, and wireless network to Catapult IP Innovations for $ 600 million, it seems that BlackBerry no longer wants to see its logo on smartphones. But, while the BlackBerry 5G is going into oblivion, OnwardMobility still exists, as does the option to produce a 5G smartphone with a physical keyboard, just without the BlackBerry in the name.
Blackberry Phones Reached the End of Their Life Cycle, Signaling That One Smartphone Era Is Over
It all started when BlackBerry’s services for BlackBerry 7.1 and BlackBerry 10 phones were turned off on January 4th. The termination of BlackBerry software and services for these handsets, while not unexpected, symbolizes the end of an era in smartphone technology. The shutdown prevented the limited number of people who still used BlackBerry devices from accessing data, making phone calls, or sending SMS. After that date, BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, and BlackBerry Blend only have left limited functionality.
BlackBerry’s double-digit market share had sunk to the low single digits by 2012, five years after the iPhone debuted, leaving it to compete for third place with Nokia and Microsoft’s now-defunct Windows Phone OS. After Microsoft acquired Nokia a year later, its Windows Phone Lumia line had surpassed BlackBerry’s 2.9% market share of global smartphone shipments. BlackBerry did, however, ship as much as 11 million handsets per quarter in 2012. Despite the relatively successful launch of the BlackBerry 10 Z10, the brand has struggled to make the transition to the smartphone sector.
BlackBerry released its first Android smartphone, the Priv, in 2015, which built on BlackBerry’s security heritage and incorporated the company’s famed keyboard beneath a sliding touchscreen. After reducing the price of the Priv, BlackBerry released the DTEK50 Android.
BlackBerry said in 2016 that it was discontinuing internal hardware development in order to focus only on software, services, and cybersecurity under the leadership of CEO John Chen. BlackBerry announced in 2017 that it would continue to support BlackBerry 10 devices for at least another two years. As an expression of gratitude, as they explained, to existing clients, the company has extended its service until January 4, 2022.
What Exactly Did Shutdown Affect?
BlackBerry’s Enhanced Sim Based Licensing (ESBL)/Identity Based Licensing (IBL), BlackBerry hosted email addresses, BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, BlackBerry Blend, and BlackBerry Protect, its remote lock and wipe service, are all affected by January’s shutdown. On Android and iOS devices, the BlackBerry Messenger app for business and consumers continued to work after the deadline. Finding online casinos offering gameplay and wagering through Blackberry devices is now, of course, impossible. Even before the shutdown it was difficult and could be found by carefully observing operators here and separating those that had Blackberry as an option among the OS’ available.
BlackBerry now concentrates, as we already mentioned, only on enterprise cybersecurity solutions.