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BlackBerry received’t be again—OnwardMobility reportedly loses model license


Enlarge / OnwardMobility’s teaser picture. A cellphone by no means arrived in 2021.

OnwardMobility

BlackBerry telephones will stay lifeless.

In 2020, we reported on OnwardMobility, a startup that licensed the BlackBerry model for smartphones and deliberate to launch a brand new QWERTY Android cellphone. There was loads to fret about when the corporate missed its promised 2021 deadline, and simply final month, it needed to make a weblog put up titled “Opposite to fashionable perception, we aren’t lifeless.”

Nicely, the firm’s plans at the moment are lifeless. Each Daniel Bader of Android Police and Kevin Michaluk (the founding father of Crackberry) are independently reporting that OnwardMobility has misplaced its Blackberry license. Bader says, “In keeping with sources, BlackBerry is seeking to additional distance itself from its days as a smartphone vendor after promoting the rest of its cellular patent portfolio for $600 million earlier this month.”

On the finish of January, BlackBerry bought its cellular and messaging patents to a brand new firm known as “Catapult IP Improvements,” which has no merchandise and took on a ton of debt to purchase the patents. If Catapult’s plan is to monetize BlackBerry’s patents by suing potential infringers, it is comprehensible that BlackBerry would need to distance itself from the years-long courtroom battles that can quickly start.

BlackBerry obtained out of the smartphone market in 2016 after it guess the farm on the Android-powered BlackBerry Priv and misplaced. Smartphone manufacturers by no means actually die, although; they’re simply licensed out to different firms and grow to be zombie manufacturers. The Chinese language agency TCL licensed its title from 2016 to 2020, and after that contract expired, OnwardMobility was alleged to be subsequent.

OnwardMobility appeared like an organization that would ship on its guarantees, principally because of a partnership with Foxconn’s FIH Cellular, a turnkey smartphone operation. OnwardMobility stated the cellphone was “coming in 2021,” and its web site continued to make that declare a number of days into 2022. The corporate lastly added a weblog put up to the positioning on January 7 saying the machine wasn’t lifeless. Whereas the positioning nonetheless comprises a number of BlackBerry logos and trademark notices, the most recent weblog put up solely says the plan is to make an “ultra-secure 5G enterprise smartphone (nonetheless with a keyboard!).”

OnwardMobility hasn’t confirmed the lack of the BlackBerry license, however its newest weblog put up does appear to exit of its method to not point out BlackBerry. We might ask OnwardMobility for remark, however the firm would not have any public e mail addresses. Thus far, nothing has gone to plan for OnwardMobility, and it might not be stunning to see the corporate quietly die. Actually, probably the most authentically “BlackBerry” factor OnwardMobility might do is give up the smartphone market.


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