(Pocket-lint) – BlackBerry phones are now dead. Really this time. Onward Mobility – the American firm which promised a 5G BlackBerry smartphone – has confirmed the earlier rumours, that it has ceased to operate and will no longer be building a 5G BlackBerry smartphone.
In a post to its website it stated: “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.”
The writing had been on the wall for a while, with Onward Mobility originally stating – in 2020 – that they’d launch a BlackBerry phone in 2021. Of course, that came and went without even a sneak peak at the device.
Not long ago it did state that it still planned to launch the phone and – like so many other companies – was feeling the effects of the global pandemic, and definitely was “not dead”. Opposite to the classic phrase, it seems reports of its own vivacity were greatly exaggerated.
News that Onward Mobility had lost its BlackBerry license were first reported by Kevin Michaluk – owner/founder of CrackBerry – who claimed the deal to license the BlackBerry name to Onward Mobility is dead. This was then also corroborated by Android Police. The reports cite multiple sources having confirmed the news.
From a smartphone perspective, this means BlackBerry’s long, protracted fight against complete demise is over. The feeling – it seems – is that BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, is “done with phones”.
BlackBerry – as a brand – still very much exists, but has pivoted into being more a software framework company that specialises in enterprise services and in-car entertainment systems now.
But while it’s not a dead company, you’re very unlikely to see its brand logo stamped on any consumer electronics any time in the near future. If you’re still feeling a little nostalgic over BlackBerry, be sure to check out our list of the most iconic BlackBerry phones.
This news was updated on 23 February to reflect the official announcement from OnwardMobility that it had ceased to operate.
Writing by Cam Bunton.