BlackBerry is making a comeback and fans of the brand are glad to hear it. It’s been a while since the company dropped the Key2 LE, but another model is on the way in 2021. Peter Franklin is the CEO of OnwardMobility, the company that now owns the license of the former phone powerhouse. He told The Register that this will be an in-house effort that uses the physical keyboard that fans have stuck with over all this time. (As you might be thinking, a lot of smartphone users opted for the virtual keyboards used by the likes of Apple and Samsung and haven’t looked back.) But, there are still a number of users who are looking to get back to that tactile feeling or love that nostalgia for the late aughts.
"We see a lot of enterprise experiences being enabled by 5G," Franklin told the publication. "Productivity, along with security, is enabled by 5G in many ways. Your business executive running these mission-critical apps will benefit greatly when you have 10 to 100 times faster speeds with [lower] latency."
"Top of mind for us is not just making the most secure and productive device, but also being an everyday device," he added. "That means things like a top-notch camera, and the other specs you'd expect from your day-to-day phone. Simultaneously, we know that we must be competitive, and so is our pricing."
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood also spoke to The Register about the state of the industry and how BlackBerry fits into that landscape now. The days of hyped up releases and BBM being the default business messenger are but a memory now. "The mobile business has never been harder," he observed. "Add to that the headwinds of the pandemic, and the fact that the mobile market has dropped 12 per cent year-on-year.”
He continued, ”If you look at the space which you'd expect a BlackBerry device to occupy – which is more around the mid-tier, and not the uber-high tier like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra – it's difficult to see anyone coming in, no matter what the offering is.”
"Assuming they're in the £500-£800 space, they're going to facing phones like the iPhone 11, and devices packing six cameras and the latest Qualcomm chipset. That's a very, very tough space, and they're going to need something extraordinary,” the analyst added0comments
"The addressable market has declined even further than when TCL took over the licence and there was enthusiasm from people still hanging on to their old BlackBerry devices," he mused. "There was still that long tail of BlackBerry. Those people have since moved on."
Do you think BlackBerry is poised for a big comeback? Let us know down in the comments!