Having had such total dominance back in the 00s, BlackBerry has since suffered some pretty devastating years. The Canadian firm once had a whopping 50 percent share of the US market and 20 percent of all global phone sales.
Things were going from strength to strength with Blackberry Messenger (BBM) becoming a hit with the younger generation whilst its ability to send emails on the move made it a must-have device for business users.
But then everything changed with Apple launching its iPhone. Within a few years of its releases, the world became obsessed with touchscreen smartphones with Apple’s iPhone quickly outselling the BlackBerry and putting these gadgets on the back foot.
The firm did its best to keep up with rivals including Samsung, Motorola and Nokia and even switched to Android in later models in a bid to entice customers back but sales never rebounded back to its glory days.
Now it seems BlackBerry is ready to have another stab at smartphones although this time they will be launched via a firm called Onward Mobility.
This little-known mobile security company says it’s now the home of BlackBerry with it promising to release new 5G-ready devices by the end of the year.
“We really see a need for a 5G BlackBerry, Android smartphone with a physical keyboard and being a flagship device,” said Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility in an interview with PCmag.com.
Although details remain under wraps, the team at Letsgodigital have just released images of a device they say could be coming next from BlackBerry.
Called the Evolve X2 5G this phone gets a striking all-screen design with a display that curves around the sides of the case.
There’s also the trademark checkered pattern on the rear panel and what appears to be a quad-rear camera system which could include a wide-angle and telephoto lens.
Letsgodigital is speculating that the Evolve X2 will come with a headphone port, under-display fingerprint scanner and use Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888 processor.
Of course, this is simply a rumour right now and, whilst the renders look impressive, it’s unclear if BlackBerry will launch an all-screen phone which ditches the famous physical keyboard.
BlackBerry’s new boss has made it clear that it wants to keep the keyboard so we’ll have to wait and see what comes next.
If Onward Mobility sticks to its word of a 2021 launch we might not have long to wait.