A new agreement signed by Blackberry, OnwardMobility, and FIH Mobile will lead to the release of a new BlackBerry smartphone at some point during the first two quarters of 2021.
It is already known that the new device will come with a physical QWERTY keyboard, one of the features that made BlackBerry devices a hit during the glory days. The device will also be compatible with 5G networks, and it will include the same enterprise-grade security protocols which are enjoyed by governments and corporations.
The three companies will work together to plan, manufacture, equip, and sell the smartphone in North America and US. There are only two target markets for now, as it is likely that BlackBerry wants to see if there is enough interest in the BlackBerry brand before a global release could be taken into consideration.
A joint press release notes that the device will sport the feature mentioned above as well as Android and built-in support for an enhanced security solution. With a release date of 2021, it is quite clear that the device has been in the making for a while.
Stiff competition in the general market
Companies, government agencies, and other sectors may favor the release of a new BlackBerry smartphone, but the real challenge is to convince the general market to buy them, and this is where the new device will face a real challenge.
Most modern smartphone users are already used with virtual keyboards, and the presence of a physical one will not be a big selling point for them. However, the fact that the device might be manufactured without using parts from China will allow it to be more popular within the enterprise and government sectors, boosting the number of sales.
The device could be showcased during the 2021 Mobile World Congress.