Last week it was reported that the plan for a BlackBerry 5G phone with a physical keyboard has been shelved, and now the OnwardMobility team that developed the phone officially announced on its website that OnwardMobility will be shut down and will Stop developing ultra-secure BlackBerry smartphones with physical keyboards.
Earlier this year, OnwardMobility renewed hope with a blog post titled “Contrary to popular belief, we’re not dead.” While the company admits that it has encountered various delays that prevent it from shipping in 2021, it says it hopes to provide new information on its “ultra-secure 5G enterprise smartphone” soon. It is a pity that the new news is actually announcing the cancellation of the phone.
OnwardMobility didn’t elaborate on why it canceled the development of the phone, but last week Android Police reported that OnwardMobility’s license to use the BlackBerry brand was recently revoked, and BlackBerry CEO Cheng Shouzong was reluctant to use the brand’s name on another smartphone on the phone.
BlackBerry itself exited the consumer smartphone business in 2016 to focus on cybersecurity products and services for enterprises. Over the years, the brand name has been licensed to smartphone makers such as TCL and Optiemus Infracom, though those companies eventually moved away from the brand.