Security startup OnwardMobility has announced that it will launch a new 5G BlackBerry smartphone with a physical keyboard.
This follows after TCL Communication said earlier this year that it would stop selling BlackBerry smartphones by 31 August 2020.
“TCL Communication has no further rights to design, manufacture, or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices,” it said in a statement.
Up to this point, TCL had produced BlackBerry smartphones from 2016, when it took over production from BlackBerry.
Without intervention, TCL’s discontinuation of production and sales would have resulted in BlackBerry smartphones disappearing from the market.
However, OnwardMobility has ensured that the devices will survive by signing an agreement with BlackBerry to build a new 5G BlackBerry smartphone.
Secure 5G smartphone
Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry grants OnwardMobility the right to develop, engineer, and bring to market a BlackBerry 5G mobile device,” the company said.
“Working closely with OnwardMobility, BlackBerry and FIH Mobile will ensure world-class design and manufacturing of these devices.”
This upcoming BlackBerry smartphone will sport 5G connectivity and will feature a significant focus on network and data security.
“Enterprise professionals are eager for secure 5G devices that enable productivity, without sacrificing the user experience,” said OnwardMobility CEO Peter Franklin.
“BlackBerry smartphones are known for protecting communications, privacy, and data. This is an incredible opportunity for OnwardMobility to bring next-generation 5G devices to market with the backing of BlackBerry and FIH Mobile.”
OnwardMobility will conduct product planning and market development for BlackBerry smartphones in North America and FIH Mobile will design and manufacture the BlackBerry devices under strict guidelines to ensure component, device, and supply chain integrity, the company added.
The upcoming BlackBerry 5G smartphone is expected to run Google’s Android operating system and is set to launch next year.