BlackBerry has been left for dead countless times over the past decade, but it refuses to go away. Two years after the last (we thought) BlackBerry phone, the BlackBerry logo will appear once again on a smartphone, complete with its famous, honest-to-goodness, physical QWERTY keyboard.
BlackBerry phones were notorious for two things: A physical keyboard and top-of-the-line security. Although modern smartphones — Apple‘s iOS in particular — have become remarkably more secure over the past decade, OnwardMobility is betting the barrage of remote employees working on their mobile phones has given IT departments across the country a collective heart attack.
BlackBerry’s rise was a curious one. Ben Wood from CCS Insight, and perhaps the best-informed man on the planet when it comes to phones, said, “BlackBerry used to have three key differentiators: battery life, security and a physical QWERTY keyboard. These days most Android phone makers deliver similar battery life, security has improved dramatically on Android and Apple’s iOS, which only leaves the keyboard. However, even that is going to be a hard sell because most users are now comfortable typing on a touch screen and the trade off in terms of screen real-estate in a world when it’s all about the content on the display is a big one when you have to add a physical keyboard.”
A new BlackBerry smartphone will come and it promises things no previous BlackBerry has had, such as 5G connectivity. The new phone comes from a Texas-based company called OnwardMobility (no, I hadn’t heard of it either).. Which has reached agreements with BlackBerry and a subsidiary of Foxconn called FIH Mobile.
There’s no issue with apps as this will be an Android phone.. And if it can make a distinctive play for security, then it has a chance. The design will be crucial (sleek is a good first step), as will hitting the right price. And, above all, that keyboard has to be as good as we remember it was.