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Blackberry back to life – 5G phone with iconic keypad to launch this year

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Blackberry licensee, OnwardMobility has announced that it will launch a 5G-enabled Blackberry smartphone with the iconic keypad later this year.

Even though the company revealed that the phone will retain the popular keyboard, it remained silent on other details.

This refreshing news comes weeks after Blackberry announced that it ended support for BlackBerryOS on January 4, 2022. The announcement means the company will discontinue offering significant services for its existing devices.

It essentially marked the end of old-generation keypad enabled Blackberry phones that once dominated the smartphone market. The end of old Blackberry phones was marked by the entry of iPhones – 15 years ago.

However, the recent post by OnwardMobility clarifies saying, “While we encountered various delays that prevented us from shipping in 2021, we will be providing more regular updates starting this month that will clarify and answer many of your questions about the ultra-secure 5G enterprise smartphone (still with a keyboard!) we’re bringing to market.”
The company said that it couldn’t launch the new 5G Blackberry smartphone last year as “2021 was truly a challenging year to launch a new phone.” The company proclaimed that it is “not dead.”

Other details remain unclear; however, we can expect the company to finally get a refreshed OS that will continue to support both touch and keypad controls. Several Blackberry phones like Blackberry Key2 (2018) have launched with Android OS. We can expect the new phone to retain a similar design that is a large display at the top, while carrying a QWERTY keypad at the bottom. It was powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset, non-removable 3,500mAh battery and 12-megapixel dual cameras. At the front, we got an 8-megapixel snapper for selfies and video calling.

While announcing the end of support for old phones, Blackberry said applications for BlackBerry Link, BlackBerry Desktop Manager, and BlackBerry Blend would continue to have limited functionality. Some reports suggest OnwardMobility may use a mid-range Qualcomm chipset for its smartphone.

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