The once-respected BlackBerry brand has been licensed yet again by a company hoping to use a familiar name to make a dent in the competitive Android phone market. This time, it’s a new Texas startup named OnwardMobility that’s taking the reins, promising to release a 5G BlackBerry device with Android and a physical QWERTY keyboard in 2021.
Little else is known about the device, including screen size or internal specs, but OnwardMobility told The Register it would come with a completely new keyboard design that will “reflect the brand values from a keyboard typing experience and input experience.” Which, yeah, sure! I love to reflect brand values. Do it all the time.
Another question mark hanging over the yet-unnamed device is what form factor it’ll take, be that a slider mechanism similar to 2015’s BlackBerry Priv, or a more conventional “candy bar” design. While the latter will undoubtedly prove more durable, and will appeal to die-hard QWERTY enthusiasts, a slider mechanism will allow punters to better make use of any display real-estate.
It’s time to pour one out, because BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down.
It was announced today that the consumer version of BBM is closing on May 31st, 2019. After that date, the BBM app will stop working. Emtek, who licensed the BBM consumer business from BlackBerry in 2016, says that BBM stickers and BBMoji can’t be exported out of the app, so you won’t be able to use them after the shutdown. You can issue refunds of your in-app purchases for stickers that you’ve bought, though.