BlackBerry, the once-popular smartphone brand, had announced a licensing partnership with Texas-based start-up OnwardMobility alongside Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile Limited, in August last year.

The aim was to release an Android-based BlackBerry-branded 5G phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard in “the first half of 2021” in North America and Europe.

For those unaware, OnwardMobility, which is a company focused on building secure mobile solutions for government and enterprise customers, has acquired the rights to manufacture BlackBerry-branded phones.

With no signs of the 5G BlackBerry smartphone arriving in the first half of 2021, it looked like the device had been kept on the back burner.

However, OnwardMobility has now launched a ‘Pre-Commitment Program’ to let fans of the Blackberry brand know that the upcoming Android device is still alive.

“OnwardMobility is launching a Pre-Commitment Program to expand our engagement with customers interested in purchasing the new and innovative BlackBerry 5G smartphones,” reads the landing page of OnwardMobility’s website.

Called “The Program”, this is basically a subscription list for partners and fans of the brand, who will be able to receive “product, feature, and availability updates” before the general public.

According to the manufacturer, these individuals and organizations can provide input to directly influence product features and functionality. They will also be able to pre-order the device and be among the first to receive the device at launch. However, the registration page does not provide information on the upcoming device’s specifications.

The latest update from OnwardMobility clearly indicates that a 5G-enabled BlackBerry smartphone is in the works, which means that we could very well see a new BlackBerry phone sometime next year.

Keep watching this space for more updates, as this is a developing story!