From PC Mag: BlackBerry's back—all right! After TCL terminated its partnership with BlackBerry in February, wireless watchers worried that the storied name—and keyboarded smartphones in general—would vanish from the market. Today, a new company called OnwardMobility says it has made a deal with the BlackBerry software company to use its name and intellectual property to create a new keyboarded Android smartphone, coming to the US and Europe in 2021.
"We really see a need for a 5G BlackBerry, Android smartphone with a physical keyboard and being a flagship device," said Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility.
BlackBerry is a powerful brand with a rocky legacy. The keyboarded phones were popular through the early '00s both for critical business and for message-crazy teens, but the company foundered on the switch to finger-friendly touch-screen interfaces and easy-to-use app stores after 2010.
In 2016, BlackBerry—now an enterprise software company—licensed its name and IP to TCL to make a string of BlackBerry-branded Android phones including the KeyOne, Key2 and Key2 LE (shown above), which were decent devices but didn't make a huge impact on the market. TCL said in February that it would end sales of its BlackBerry-branded phones this August.
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