The startup company had lost its license to use the trademarked ‘Blackberry’ name for its 5G product.
Startup tech company OnwardMobility has confirmed that the plans to bring a Blackberry 5G device to the market is officially dead. In a report, Kevin Michaluk, founder of the newly-resurrected Crackberry blog announced that the company will be shutting down its doors, alongside plans for the modern smartphone with a physical keyboard.
“We want to thank you all for the tremendous amount of support that you have given us since we first launched OnwardMobility. However, it is with great sadness that we announce that OnwardMobility will be shutting down, and we will no longer be proceeding with the development of an ultra-secure smartphone with a physical keyboard,” reads OnwardMobility’s official website.
Earlier this month, the Texas-based startup company had lost its license to use the trademarked ‘Blackberry’ name on their upcoming 5G device. OnwardMobility intended to renew the iconic phone lineup through an Android-based, Wi-Fi supported algorithm. Currently, they have not expanded on why it is shutting down or the cancellation of the project as a whole.
While there are no images for the 5G Blackberry, reports suggest that the phone took design inspiration from the Priv, an Android-based slider phone that was released in late 2015. It was the only Android device released by Blackberry Ltd, before shifting onto software development.
In January, Blackberry Ltd pulled the plug on legacy services for older phones running their OS. The Canadian company was an early leader in the smartphone space, adding a physical QWERTY keyboard to mobile devices and key services like Blackberry Messenger. It also came with a Balance feature that allowed users to switch between their work profile and a personal one, to ensure you’re accessing the right data.
The Blackberry hub was another great feature that compiled all your emails, messages, and social networking updates into one place while offering context-sensitive tools to help you handle incoming traffic.
In 2016, the company stopped producing mobile devices, and instead, shifted to a software-only business, offering services to TCL. The contract eventually came to an end in 2020.