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"BlackBerry had the best design, it ran smoothly. The apps were simple to operate, yet they provided extra features," said Krishna Singh, 51, a Pune-based entrepreneur, nostalgic about the first phone he ever bought.
"The Hub was one of the best things I loved about the phone – all your conversations and activities were in one place, brilliantly thought out and implemented. The whole OS was gesture based. And BlackBerry was something I blindly trusted, I know they never used data about users as Google does and I'm sure they didn't misuse what they had," Singh sighed.
BlackBerry (BB), is now all set to make a comeback (again) and the Canadian enterprise software company is set to resurrect the physical QWERTY keyboard that was once one of the most-loved features of a smartphone.
The new BB phones are scheduled to be unveiled in late 2021 and will also come with 5G technology as confirmed by its manufacturers.
Stating why he loves BB smartphones, Tarun Mathur, 34, a smartphone enthusiast said, "Security, I guess. The OS is so old and simple, you can't really hack it. Also, people love the physical keyboard, it's great for those who text a lot and want a physical keyboard."
From Controlling the Smartphone Market to A Phone of the Past
Undoubtedly, BB was once a titan of the smartphone industry, but the company started to lose its consumer base once Android devices and the iPhone went mainstream.
The last smartphone produced by BlackBerry was the Priv in 2015, and after that, the company simply licensed its name and software to OnwardMobility.
Experts suggest that BlackBerry was slow to change. The company ethos was built around designing a great product that just worked and iterating on it very slowly.
It should be noted that BB phones missed out on a bunch of features that appealed to consumers, like front and back cameras. These shortcomings ultimately led to the phone's downfall.
Blackberry's global market share began to drop , going from 20 percent in 2009 to less than 5 percent in 2012. By the time BB finally released its flagship touch-screen phone in 2013, it was too late.
What's The Update Now?
The latest development is that OnwardMobility has launched a ‘Pre-Commitment Program,’ which is essentially an email newsletter for updates on the phone.
The company has promised “product, feature, and availability updates before the general public as well as the option to provide feedback and suggestions."
The form released by the company asks people which mobile networks they would like to use with the phone, as well as how many phones they plan on purchasing.
All of the inputs given by the users on the program will be taken seriously, claims the company's 'Pre-commitment Program'.
But the biggest hint which confirms that OnwardMobility is coming out with a new smartphone is that the company has said users on the program will be able to pre-order the device.
Furthermore, the company has assured its fans that those who register on the form will be the first ones in the world to receive the new smartphone.
What to Expect From BB?
The phone was initially expected to launch in May 2021, and the delay led to speculation that the onset of COVID-19 deferred the launch of BB. Meanwhile, the company did not release any official statement on delaying the launch of its flagship devices.
The new BlackBerry phone will run 5G, feature next-generation, which means things like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 CPU, more RAM, and, of course, BlackBerry’s iconic QWERTY keyboard.
The new BlackBerry phone can be expected to be a high segment phone which can cost around Rs 55,000 .
This figure is solely based on the fact that BB devices will run the latest specification and hardware, as well as a pretty advanced camera module on its front and rear.
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