Blackberry handsets rise from the ashes again, this time with a 5G device

Just weeks before sales of new Blackberry handsets were set to end, Blackberry has penned a deal with mobile security company OnwardMobility and FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn, to deliver a 5G Blackberry Android smartphone.

Earlier this year, Chinese firm TCL said it would no longer be making Blackberry handsets after 31 August 2020, as it had come to the end of its agreement with Blackberry. TCL has been manufacturing Blackberry devices for the past four years, following Blackberry’s decision to stop manufacturing them for itself.

Now, OnwardMobility has the right to develop, engineer, and bring to market a Blackberry 5G mobile device. OnwardMobility will carry out product planning and market development, while FIH Mobile will design and manufacture the device.

“This is an incredible opportunity for OnwardMobility to bring next-generation 5G devices to market with the backing of BlackBerry and FIH Mobile,” said Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility.

The 5G device, which will feature a physical keyboard, is expected to arrive in the first half of 2021 in Europe and North America.

“BlackBerry is thrilled OnwardMobility will deliver a BlackBerry 5G smartphone device with physical keyboard leveraging our high standards of trust and security synonymous with our brand,” added John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of Blackberry. “We are excited that customers will experience the enterprise and government level security and mobile productivity the new BlackBerry 5G smartphone will offer.”