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Startup’s planned 5G Blackberry revival is officially dead

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OnwardMobility is shutting down

BlackBerry Priv
A close up of 2015’s Blackberry Priv.
Image: The Verge

OnwardMobility, the startup hoping to revive Blackberry phones with a 5G keyboard-equipped Android device, is ending its work on the phone and shutting down as a company. “It is with great sadness that we announce that OnwardMobility will be shutting down, and we will no longer be proceeding with the development of an ultra-secure smartphone with a physical keyboard,” the company wrote in a statement on its website.

The announcement doesn’t come as much of a surprise given reports that OnwardMobility’s 5G Blackberry had been cancelled earlier this month. But at the time there was speculation that the company might live on and attempt to produce a 5G keyboard-equipped Android phone without the Blackberry name. Now, however, we know it’s the end of the line for the company as a whole as well as the product itself.

Despite saying “this is not the outcome we worked and hoped for,” OnwardMobility’s statement doesn’t give any indication of exactly why it cancelled the project. But Android Police previously reported that its license to use the Blackberry branding had recently been cancelled. And, more generally, it can’t have been easy trying to make it as a new smartphone manufacturer amidst an ongoing global chip shortage.