God damn it, I got fooled. All us former BlackBerry users got fooled. We were fooled by a big promise from a company that had no plans on fulfilling their promise. Shame on us.
About two years ago, BlackBerry announced that their license with Chinese phone company TCL would cease, meaning that the Key series of BlackBerry phones (KeyONE, Key2, Key2 LE) were the last in the line of BlackBerry phones. In other words, BlackBerry was done-sies.
Then came word that a Texas upstart company, OnwardMobility, planned on releasing a brand new 5G BlackBerry with a physical keyboard. And us BlackBerry users hoped. We hoped for positive news.
Deadlines came and went. OnwardMobility barely released any news on the phone or its status.
And eventually, our 3G BlackBerry phones lost service. I held out for as long as I could, and eventually migrated to a Google Pixel 6 Pro. My KeyONE, which lasted from 2017 to 2021, was the last in a string of Chuck-owned Berries.
Now comes word from reliable sources that BlackBerry is not only done with OnwardMobility, they’ve sold off their phone patents – including the patents for physical keyboard-based phones – to a venture capital company for $600 million. BlackBerry has moved into cyber-security fields with their Xylance software, and have left the cell phone world forever.
And OnwardMobility lost their license to make BlackBerry-branded cell phones.
Like they actually WERE going to make one.
Let me explain something, as painful as it sounds.
OnwardMobility was nothing more than vaporware.
Vaporware, in technical terms, is a product that only exists in press releases and fantasies. And all they provided were promises.
They never provided status updates or interacted with their customers, outside of one email to create a mailing list. That’s it.
And for BlackBerry loyalists like me who held out for as long as we could for this supposed new 5G phone … OnwardMobility led us down the primrose path and off the cliff. To the point where we held out for as long as we could, until we were stuck with phones that couldn’t even make calls on the new upgraded networks.
I’ve reluctantly moved on to another product. I’m now using a Google Pixel 6 Pro, which I had to get almost as an emergency purchase.
So thanks for nothing, OnwardMobility. Thanks for the lies and the misdirections and the assorted bullshit you pulled on us.
Because in the end … after all this …
OnwardMobility was neither mobile, nor onward.