It looks like BlackBerry is exiting the smartphone business once and for all. Here’s what happened to the planned BlackBerry 5G phone.
BlackBerry is one of the oldest companies in the mobile phone business. Despite being an old boy, the company has struggled to keep up with the technology. The company has always managed to stage a come back though it has continuously failed to give any meaningful competition to newer and exciting smartphone brands.
BlackBerry was staging another comeback with its first-ever 5G phone slated to launch in 2022 after missing out on the mid-2021 promise. Unfortunately, the promised 5G BlackBerry phone is not coming after all. Here’s why.
BlackBerry’s Awaited 5G Phone Is Dead
A 5G BlackBerry smartphone with the company’s iconic keyboard was to launch in 2022, but that is not happening. The report on the death of BlackBerry’s awaited 5G phone comes just over a month after OnwardMobility, a Texas-based tech company that was developing the new device, said that the brand was not dead.
OnwardMobility’s update immediately followed BlackBerry’s “end of life” announcement, rendering classic BlackBerry phones dead. BlackBerry’s 5G phone was originally slated to launch in 2021, but that didn’t happen.
The company’s January 2022 update cited “various delays” that made it hard to ship the device. But even the 2022 launch isn’t happening for two reasons, although OnwardMobility has not issued an official statement yet.
Why BlackBerry’s 5G Phone Is Dead
The key reason why BlackBerry’s 5G phone is dead is that BlackBerry canceled OnwardMobility’s license to launch phones under their name, according to a report from Android Police. For the uninitiated, BlackBerry officially gave up on making phones, but it has been licensing third-party companies to use its name in the smartphone industry.
For instance, the BlackBerry KeyOne, Key2, and Key2 LE were made by TCL. OnwardMobility took the mantle after TCL’s license with BlackBerry expired in 2020. But now that OnwardMobility’s license has been canceled, that marks the end of the promised 5G BlackBerry phone.
Besides the license cancellation, it seems BlackBerry is officially done with the smartphone industry as a whole. BlackBerry sold all of its legacy “non-core patent assets” primarily related to mobile devices, messaging, and wireless networking for $600 million at the end of January 2022.
Time to Move On
While the BlackBerry brand in the smartphone industry is dead, fans who loved the company’s keyboard still have other options that they can use. A good example is the Planeta Slide 5G showcased at CES 2022 and Fxtec Pro1 X, another promised device shipping in 2022.
Sorry, BlackBerry fans, it’s time to move on.
The Unihertz Titan is a Blackberry alternative for the smartphone age. However, the physical keyboard comes at a cost, as the device is heavy, large, and uncomfortable to use.
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