• The old favourite’s grand return
  • What to expect from BlackBerry’s 5G smartphone?
  • How will 5G connectivity work in its favour?

As the world prepares for the arrival of 5G technology, there is another tech player that is piquing the interest of consumers and tech experts — BlackBerry. Once the favourite of many, it vanished from the market roughly half a decade ago due to losing popularity and declining sales. Now that it’s returning, we talk about what could be in store for its 5G model in this article.

The old favourite’s grand return

BlackBerry was once considered the leading smartphone brand in the United States a decade ago. Selling over 50 million units during its peak years, the company gobbled up 50 percent of the market share in America and 20 percent globally. But in a matter of a few years, its popularity fizzled out, leading to the company’s decision to discontinue the production of smartphones in 2016.

Today, the telecom company is once again the talk of the town as it tries to mount a comeback with the upcoming release of its 5G smartphone, the brand’s first in about five years. But instead of the Canadian company Research in Motion, the production will be backed by Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, a subsidiary of FIH mobile, and Texas-based start-up OnwardMobility.

The BlackBerry 5G smartphone is slated to arrive in the first half of 2021 and developers are promising another Android device with high levels of security technologies. It’s likely going to target the same market it did in the past, which is the enterprise professionals.

But what else does the brand have to offer? And would these be enough to make people switch from their iPhones and Samsungs? Here are some of the things to look forward to in the new BlackBerry smartphone:

What to expect from BlackBerry’s 5G smartphone?

Design program

Aside from its 2021 release, not much is known about the soon-to-arrive BlackBerry model. Executives from both the BlackBerry and OnwardMobility camp have remained mum about the latest developments in the production, save for a few statements from Peter Franklin, CEO of the Texas start-up.

According to him, the phone will feature a clean-sheet keyboard that will take into consideration the latest design trends. This makes one wonder if the company is looking to include the same capacitive coating that enabled swipe gesture typing in old BlackBerry models.

It also begs the question of which interface will be used between the slider mechanism and the sublime candy bar design. If practicality is the priority, there is a good chance for the company to go with the slider mechanism, but everything still seems to be touch and go at the moment.

As Sarah Tatsis, vice president for BlackBerry’s Advanced Technology Labs, shared a couple of months ago, they have not finalised how the keyboard and overall typing experience is going to be for the 5G smartphone.

But if BlackBerry wants to set itself apart from a sea of Android phones on the market while also putting up a decent fight against the Apple, Windows, and Microsoft devices, the design language has to be unique for the returning brand. If this means bringing back the well-loved physical QWERTY keyboard, then so be it.

Best in class security tech

Of course, security features are also going to be a huge factor in trying to lure people back to the brand. In a telecom market that has seen quite a number of privacy threats, data breaches, and leaks over the years, how does Blackberry plan to address the most pressing issues of consumers?

Other than its ultra-popular physical QWERTY keyboard, BlackBerry also built a reputation for providing a government-level of security to users. Something that iOS and Android mobile phone developers can only dream of to this day.

It’s possible that similar, if not improved, security tech features will find their way back to the 5G smartphone. After all, BlackBerry wouldn’t waste one of its strongest advantages over its competitors.

How will 5G connectivity work in its favour?

Being built on the Android platform, seamless productivity and entertainment are definitely going to be at the forefront for BlackBerry, especially since the model is going to target professionals. 5G connectivity will ensure that the device will have the unparalleled processing power that it needs, plus a user interface that’s beyond comparison.

If BlackBerry were to take notes from its competitors, iPhone, OnePlus, and Google Pixel’s UI are all worth looking into in terms of multitasking.

Entertainment is also going to be an area of competition, which the returning brand has to master for its 5G smartphone. While productivity is an important feature, professionals will also want something that allows them to binge-watch their favourite shows, play their mobile games, as well as shoot photos and take videos. If BlackBerry manages to work this into the device with the help of 5G, then things will certainly look good for the brand.

BlackBerry is set to debut its 5G smartphone in North America and Europe sometime next year, with other global markets to follow soon after.