It's been a while since there was a new BlackBerry smartphone released, but we're getting one early next year.
A new BlackBerry smartphone with a physical keyboard and 5G support will launch in the first half of 2021. It'll be available in North America and Europe and like other more recent BlackBerry phones, it'll run Android.
Also like those other recent BlackBerry phones, this upcoming model won't actually be made by BlackBerry. It's being made by Austin, TX-based OnwardMobility which is partnering with FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn, to actually make the hardware. OnwardMobility does say it will be "working closely" with BlackBerry to ensure the phone gets a "world-class design."
BlackBerry previously partnered with TCL to make BlackBerry-branded Android phones, including the KEYone, Motion, and Key2. That partnership ended earlier this year, and so now BlackBerry has struck a new partnership to bring another smartphone with the BlackBerry name to market.
BlackBerry is a name that's been around the smartphone industry for ages, having made popular keyboard smartphones like the Curve, Pearl, and Bold. More recently, BlackBerry is focused on making enterprise software and services. The BlackBerry name is one that's still recognizable for some folks, though.
It's not often we see a new smartphone launch with a physical keyboard, so we're looking forward to getting our thumbs on this new 5G BlackBerry phone. Does a new 5G BlackBerry with a hardware keyboard interest you?