The BlackBerry 5G smartphone is anticipated for release. Despite BlackBerry announcing in September 2020 that it would be focusing instead on other endeavours, a new BlackBerry device is set to land on the market. Texas-based start-up company, OnwardMobility recently signed a licensing agreement with BlackBerry Limited to use the brand’s name and intellectual property to devise a new smartphone.
While the launch of the new phone has been hit with successive delays, its imminent arrival has created much excitement in the tech world. But could the BlackBerry 5G – and its subsequent brand name – rival Apple?
Death by Apple
Once the dominant force in the smartphone world, BlackBerry saw its shares plummet in 2007 after Apple introduced the iPhone. As the iPhone’s popularity began to grow, BlackBerry continued to suffer losses until its market share was effectively wiped out within the decade. While the company made successive attempts to re-enter the market by releasing Android smartphones, it failed to get back to its previous success.
However, could this latest smartphone bearing the brand’s name be a serious rival to the iPhone, the very device that pushed BlackBerry into obscurity?
What will the BlackBerry 5G offer?
Full details on the new BlackBerry 5G smartphone are currently still unknown but it’s understood that the device will have a physical keyboard. This will be a welcome feature for many customers, especially since most smartphone devices – iPhone included – only offer touchscreen options.
As the name suggests, the BlackBerry 5G smartphone provides 5G coverage. This type of coverage is a massive upgrade from 4G and is capable of exceptional speeds that are much higher than most people’s WiFi connections. With the potential to hit 10 Gbps per second, it allows for super-fast stable gaming, which gives a good advantage if you’re trying to play online slots or concentrating on high-focus games.
With more and more people now online gaming, not just Fortnite and other multi player games, but online casino games, Blackberry may have a potential fast track back to success. Given that some of the major tech and entertainment companies are increasingly moving towards game delivery (Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix et al), this may well be the future for Blackberry, especially if the company wants to regain its former position at the top of the massive mobile phone market.
The speed at which 5G operates also makes downloading apps much more swift and hassle-free, which again will benefit online gamers. At present, the only Apple smartphones that support 5G coverage are the iPhone 12 (including Mini, Max and Pro Max) and the iPhone 13 (including Pro, Pro Max, and Mini). Earlier iPhone models do not support 5G, which immediately puts Apple on the back foot behind the new BlackBerry smartphone.
When can we expect the BlackBerry 5g?
The 5G BlackBerry smartphone will be the first BlackBerry phone in several years; however, the launch of the device has been delayed. OnwardMobility had initially planned to introduce the new smartphone at the start of 2021, but this didn’t happen. However, hope was revived again earlier this month when OnwardMobility published a blog post titled ‘Contrary to popular belief, we are not dead’. The post explained the delay was a consequence of “a challenging year to launch a new phone”, citing “various delays” that prevented shipping. The company also reiterated that it would be bringing the new smartphone to the market and that it intended to keep customers updated on any progress.
While updates surrounding the anticipated launch have been sparse and vague, there is one thing that is certain – a new smartphone on the market could be a potential contender to the Apple iPhone.
The delay of the BlackBerry 5G smartphone hasn’t dampened the excitement over it. If anything, it’s actually further increased the appetite for its launch. This could work in its favour as the anticipation build-up will only create more interest and detract from any subsequent new Apple launches. While Apple has knocked BlackBerry down in the past, it cannot be complacent. If Apple wants to retain its space in the market as the master of smartphones, it might need to launch more 5G network supporting models to compete with the new BlackBerry. Whether the BlackBerry 5G smartphone succeeds in reviving the BlackBerry name remains to be seen; and whether it shows to be a threat to Apple will also be known in due course.