New 2021

New 2021 BlackBerry

BlackBerry® fans are excited about the brand's revival in 2021. This news is surprising, as all hope seemed lost in 2020 when the Chinese company Telephone Communication Limited (TCL) announced they would no longer design, manufacture or sell BlackBerry phones. The TCL partnership began when BlackBerry decided to license its brand in 2016, ending their own design and development of BlackBerry devices. The following four years saw the release of a few new BlackBerry phones until TCL cut ties with BlackBerry last year.

At the end of the TCL partnership, many industry experts predicted the days of BlackBerry were over. However, a new licensing deal with OnwardMobility has breathed life back into the brand. A new BlackBerry phone will fill a niche no other big-name cellphone company has filled — the 2021 BlackBerry will have a physical QWERTY keyboard. The phone's level of success will be a matter of interest for consumers, tech professionals and industry leaders. Substantial information about the new BlackBerry is scarce and scattered, but a few points are certain.

Why a Physical Keyboard?

  More accurate typing
  Full-screen visibility
  Shortcut assignments
  Touchscreen aversion

Why a Physical Keyboard?

Above all, the fundamental promise of the new BlackBerry is a physical keyboard, like that of early mobile phones. You may be wondering why a company would invest its resources into reimagining what might seem to be obsolete technology. Though you'll find few smartphones with physical keyboards on the market today, consumer interest persists. Tactile keyboards have unique benefits where virtual keyboards fall short. Though the reverse is also true, some think the pros of a tactile keyboard outweigh the cons.

Mobile phones with physical keyboards dominated until the touchscreen came along and took over. Many consumers prefer a tactile keyboard for several reasons. The size of this niche market is uncertain — but the market's existence is clear. Here are a few reasons users may want a smartphone with a physical keyboard:

  1.   More accurate typing: Some smartphone users feel they have an easier time typing with a tactile keyboard. Having a physical keyboard may help the user type with fewer errors and rely less on predictive text. This can save time and improve communication.
  2.   Full-screen visibility: Virtual keyboards block a big chunk of the user's screen, which can pose an inconvenience. With a tactile keyboard, the user retains a full view of their screen. This is especially helpful for those conducting business on their phones — they'll be able to reference more of a report or conversation thread as they draft their response. However, it would also be useful for everyday smartphone users while texting, taking notes or posting on social media.
  3.   Planet Astro Slide: Shortcut assignments: Another benefit of a full keyboard is the ability to assign shortcuts, a feature of BlackBerry's TCL phones. For instance, a user could tap the "G" key to launch their Gmail. Users may find this quicker and more convenient than navigating their app drawers and folders.
  4.   Touchscreen aversion: For some users, the reasoning is simple. They prefer a tactile experience to a touchscreen. They may find touchscreens frustrating or unintuitive. Phones have grown more reliant on touchscreen technology, so an alternative option would be a welcome change for these consumers.

Potential Drawbacks

However, a physical keyboard can have certain drawbacks, as well. For one thing, a horizontal keyboard will not lend itself to one-handed typing. Virtual keyboards have both landscape and portrait layouts and often have Swype text capabilities. This makes for a versatile, one- or two-handed typing experience.

In addition, virtual keyboards have endless possibilities, including emoji and obscure symbol menus, while physical keyboards are much more limited. A phone with both virtual and physical keyboard capabilities would solve this issue, necessitating a touchscreen. Another concern is the screen size and its compatibility with modern apps and features. If the physical keyboard forces the screen to be smaller, this could burden the user experience. That's one reason tuckaway keyboards are a popular option. How the new BlackBerry will approach these concerns is yet uncertain.

Do Any Other Phones Includes Keyboards?

While no industry giants have released a keyboard-including phone recently, consumers have a few options on the market. Each has its pros and cons, depending on user preferences. Three phones are the most prevalent in this niche market today, each from a different company.

  1.   Unihertz Titan: One choice is the Unihertz Titan, a bulky and rugged phone with Android 10 capabilities and 6 gigabytes of storage. On this phone, the keyboard is small and vertical and does not fold out or beneath the display screen. This can affect the user experience, as most modern apps are meant for a larger screen. The phone does have reliable weather and wear resistance, which makes it worthwhile for some consumers.
  2.   Fx Pro1 X: Another option is the Fx Pro1 X. It has a full touchscreen when shut and a wide, horizontal keyboard when open. Of course, this means the physical keyboard is only usable when the phone is in landscape mode. The Pro1 X benefits from recent smartphone technology, such as split-screen capabilities and AMOLED display.
  3.   Planet Astro Slide: The third most notable choice is the London-based company Planet Computer's Astro Slide. It has quite a unique look. While its horizontal foldaway keyboard layout looks familiar, the keys have ridging like those of a full-scale, standard keyboard. Its hinge mechanism locks the touchscreen in place at a tilted angle.

The market for phones with physical keyboards may grow as more choices emerge. The promised BlackBerry model will have unique features that may entice more customers. As it stands, industry experts can only guess about the future of this market. It's possible bigger name brands like Apple® or Samsung® will start releasing their own phones with physical keyboards. Or, these phone types may fade out completely. For now, consumers await the arrival of the newest BlackBerry.

About the New

BlackBerry Phone 2021

Many consumers and tech enthusiasts have long awaited a new keyboard-including smartphone from a well-known brand.

About the New BlackBerry Phone 2021

Many consumers and tech enthusiasts have long awaited a new keyboard-including smartphone from a well-known brand. BlackBerry was once one of the biggest cellular phone industry leaders, and some consumers have even held onto their old BlackBerry phones. Combining the old-school button keyboard with the capabilities of a modern smartphone is sure to yield an intriguing result. Here's everything you need to know about the new BlackBerry's design, manufacture and release.

Who Is Designing the New BlackBerry?

The new BlackBerry phone is the result of an unusual pairing — Foxconn Technology Group, the world's largest electronics manufacturer with headquarters in Taiwan, has teamed up with OnwardMobility, a Texas-based startup. They announced their partnership in August 2020, noting OnwardMobility's right to develop, engineer and market the new device. OnwardMobility's key priorities are supporting productivity and security.

Where Will Manufacturing Take Place?

According to OnwardMobility's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Franklin, the phone's manufacture will occur outside of mainland China. This is significant, as China is the world leader in hardware production. Franklin says he wants the phone to be American-made, but the logistical specifics of manufacture are unclear. The company may use components from United States sources. It's also possible they'll use a Foxconn-owned production facility in Mexico or a plant in Wisconsin. For now, those interested will have to stay tuned.

When and Where Is the New BlackBerry Set to Launch?

When the new phone will hit the shelves is still unknown. In OnwardMobility's first announcements, they said they would release the phone in the first half of 2021. With that deadline fast approaching, the company has made no updates about the product's development or current status. The company's only recent announcement was about its expanding sales team, including a new president and vice president.

As of now, it's not possible to say when the phone's actual release will be. A release by June 2021 may still happen, but experts are beginning to think it unlikely. Per initial announcements, the new BlackBerry should release first in North American and European markets and then in Asian markets.

What Will It Cost?

Regarding cost, experts and consumers alike can only guess. Franklin has only said the phone will be competitively priced. While most new smartphones tend to fall somewhere between $500 and $1,000, there's nothing quite like the upcoming BlackBerry on the market, and OnwardMobility is a new participant in this space. The company may opt for a modest price to entice sales or a lavish price to signify the phone's novelty. Consumers will have to wait and see.

Designing a phone with a tactile keyboard aligns with OnwardMobility's mission, which is all about professional productivity.

Features of the BlackBerry 2021

As there are a few other keyboard-including smartphones on the market, you may be wondering what makes the BlackBerry 2021 concept unique. OnwardMobility has promised some features and hinted at others. Designing a phone with a tactile keyboard aligns with OnwardMobility's mission, which is all about professional productivity.

What Will the Keyboard Include?

It's unknown what the new BlackBerry's keyboard will look like or include. Looking at the brand's most recent releases with TCL, the BlackBerry KEY2 had a touchscreen display and a small, vertical QWERTY keyboard. However, since a new company is designing this upcoming phone, it's bound to look and function differently. It may have either a vertical or horizontal keyboard, and it could be prominent or tucked away.

Supported languages are also unknown. Since the phone is set for initial release in North America and Europe, its keyboard will likely support widespread languages in those regions, including English, Spanish and French. Of course, it requires fewer resources to support multiple languages on a virtual keyboard than a physical one.

Will It Have 5G Network Capabilities?

In short, yes. OnwardMobility has promised 5G capabilities for their new BlackBerry phone. The fifth generation of network standards, 5G has been around since 2019. It's meant to be faster, more reliable and have a greater capacity than 4G. This makes for an improved user experience and opens the door for app developers and other technology professionals. As 5G becomes more widespread in the United States, the smartphone experience will continue to evolve. OnwardMobility plans to take advantage of this by including 5G network capabilities in the new BlackBerry.

Will It Have Advanced Security and Privacy Features?

According to OnwardMobility, a key priority is security. In fact, their target market is enterprise professionals and government employees — those storing and sharing the most confidential and sensitive information via mobile networks. The company has not specified what security features the phone will include, but consumers have enjoyed industry-leading security features from BlackBerry in the past.

What Operating Systems Will It Be Compatible With?

Similar to the recent TCL BlackBerry phones, the new phone should be compatible with Android. The specific Android system with which it will be compatible is still unknown. Android has released 19 different operating system versions, with increasingly better security and user capabilities. Since OnwardMobility has promised a focus on security and privacy, compatibility with a secure operating system will be necessary. The intended consumer base of enterprise and government professionals will expect the most secure features possible.

Will It Have a Decent Camera?

Smartphone cameras are getting better and better. Many have significant low and bright-light capabilities. As a result, a high-quality camera is on many consumers' must-have lists. Addressing this priority, Franklin said the new BlackBerry will have a "top-of-the-line camera" in addition to its tactile keyboard and 5G connectivity. As of yet, specifics are unknown.

Will There Be a Touchscreen-Only Version?

Right now, OnwardMobility has no plans to make a touchscreen-only BlackBerry. The company has only announced the design and production of a smartphone with a physical keyboard. Those interested in a touchscreen-only BlackBerry could choose the BlackBerry Evolve. It runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo operating system. It has an all-day battery life and a dual camera, as well as the classic BlackBerry textured back. Another touchscreen-only BlackBerry is the TCL-produced BlackBerry Motion. This phone runs on an earlier OS, the Android 7.1 Nougat, and it also has the soft-touch material back.

Trade Old Electronics for Cash With ecoATM

While unanswered questions hang in the air, one thing is certain about the new BlackBerry its release will be interesting.

Trade Used Electronics for Cash With ecoATM

While unanswered questions hang in the air, one thing is certain about the new BlackBerry — its release will be interesting. A 5G capable, Android-compatible smartphone with a physical keyboard could demand a large share of the market. It may become the phone of choice for those seeking a secure, productive mobile device with a tactile keyboard. Until more information comes to light, it's impossible to say how popular the OnwardMobility BlackBerry will be.

In the meantime, if you're thinking about upgrading your cell phone, consider selling or recycling your old phone at an ecoATM kiosk. At an ecoATM, you can trade in your old phone, tablet or MP3 player and walk away with cash in hand. You'll help reduce electronic waste, as each device is given the opportunity for a new life or properly recycled. All you have to do is factory-reset your device to delete your personal information, charge it and plug it into one of ecoATM's conveniently located kiosks. The kiosk will determine your device's value based on model, condition and the current market. If you accept the offer, you'll get paid in cash on the spot. If you're interested in trading in a used device for cash, find an ecoATM kiosk near you.