BlackBerry has reportedly cancelled its licensing agreement with OnwardMobility and will not be producing new smartphones.
This news follows on the heels of an announcement by BlackBerry that it completely sold its legacy mobile patent assets for a sum of $600 million to a consortium of companies called Catapult IP Innovations Inc. The reason behind this decision is unknown.
BlackBerry was supposed to make a comeback with an all-new 5G-enabled Android phone with a physical keyboard in 2022. The new phone with 5G would have taken design cues from the Android-powered BlackBerry Priv from 2015.
In August 2020, OnwardMobility announced a licensing deal with the Canadian software company after TCL parted ways with it after over 3 years.
— BlackBerry (@BlackBerry) August 19, 2020
OnwardMobility was to launch its first BlackBerry phone in the first half of 2021. However, no device was released by the company. At the start of 2022, fans got some promising news from OnwardMobility reassuring that a new phone is still in the works with more regular updates.
The company said logistical and supply issues have caused serious delays to the launch of the device, which could have been a contributing factor to the decision to revoke the OnwardMobility licence.
While the company has no other products to offer, it remains to be seen if OnwardMobility tries to salvage the dead smartphone project to create a mobile device of their own.
BlackBerry phones running Android like the Priv, KeyOne and Key2 will be useable for the most part as they still have access to the Google Play store for the time being. Devices manufactured by TCL like the Keyone and Key2 will continue to receive customs service support until August 31, 2022.
For phones running on Blackberry 10 and older, Blackberry put out an announcement that it is pulling the plug on BlackBerry services and native apps on Jan 4, 2022, advising against using these devices for they will not function reliably for data, phone and SMS.