Soon after a month of OnwardMobility announcing that a new Blackberry phone is on the card for 2022, the Texas-based partner of BlackBerry seems to have lost its rights to BlackBerry’s name.
OnwardMobility became the latest licensee of the BlackBerry brand in August 2020. A blog post released last month, titled ‘Contrary to popular belief, we are not dead’, announced that OnwardMobility would launch an ultra-secure 5G enterprise smartphone with the keyboard in 2022.
A similar announcement about Blackberry 5G came up in the first half of 2021. However, the plan did not surface. According to OnwardMobility, the challenges in logistics during the pandemic delayed the plan.
Now the latest update came from AndroidPolice, which said that OnwardMobility is not planning to work on the BlackBerry 5G project any longer after it loses the right to use the BlackBerry name. The publication quoted the founder of Crackberry, Kevin Michaluk, and other sources for the news. In his quote, Michaluk speculated that this decision to remove BlackBerry entirely could be down to CEO John Chen, who prefer the smartphone brand to vanish.
BlackBerry Recently Sold Its Mobile Technology Patents
The speculation cannot be entirely wrong considering that BlackBerry is looking to distance itself from its identity as a smartphone maker. Not long ago, the company sold its legacy patents, including mobile technologies, to Catapult IP Innovations Inc. for $600 million. The company revealed that the sale consisted of its non-core patent assets. In the deal, Catapult IP Innovations Inc. acquired BlackBerry’s patents related to mobile devices, wireless networking IPs and messaging. BlackBerry will get $450 million in cash and a promissory note for $150 million in the sale.
Although the patent sale will not affect the existing users, BlackBerry has already stopped providing support for BlackBerry phones running BB10 OS. In an official confirmation, Blackberry said it is halting all supports provided for its classic devices running BlackBerry 10, 7.1 OS and earlier. This indicated that the older devices not running on Android will no longer be able to use data, access the internet, send text messages, or make calls. The last version of the Blackberry operating system was launched in 2013.