OnwardMobility, a US-based startup founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneur Peter Franklin, who worked for Microsoft and online game company Zynga, has announced its plan to release a new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with a physical keyboard.
The startup has already made agreements with BlackBerry, which has agreed to license its brand, and FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, which will provide its world-class design and manufacturing expertise.
“This is an incredible opportunity for OnwardMobility to bring next-generation 5G devices to market with the backing of BlackBerry and FIH Mobile,” said Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility. “Enterprise professionals are eager for secure 5G devices that enable productivity, without sacrificing the user experience.”
Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the global need for better information security, and smartphones play an essential role in the personal and work lives of most people. During the pre-iPhone era, BlackBerry devices were the go-to choice of productivity-oriented professionals, but the rise of modern smartphones with touchscreens forced BlackBerry to stop selling them in 2016.
To revive the brand’s former glory, something several other companies have unsuccessfully attempted before, OnwardMobility will have to do a lot more than just slap a physical keyboard on a run-of-the-mill Android smartphone. The startup knows that it faces an uphill battle, which is why it’s betting on the combination of security and productivity.
“We are excited that customers will experience the enterprise and government level security and mobile productivity the new BlackBerry 5G smartphone will offer,” commented John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry.
The new BlackBerry device will first launch in North America and Europe. No release date has yet been announced, but all involved parties hope to release it within this year. Currently, OnwardMobility is speaking to customers and mobile carriers on a global scale to develop its distribution plan. Understanding the critical importance of the Asian market, the goal is to enter it as soon as possible.
Emirates Airline To Invest $2 Billion On Major Upgrades
Emirates plans a huge retrofit on its fleet and an upgrade to the inflight experience.
Emirates Airline has just announced plans to improve its inflight experience for passengers. The carrier has budgeted $2 billion to refit the interiors of over 120 of its aircraft, aiming for a more modern aesthetic for cabins, along with better food choices, modern inflight entertainment options, and a significant service overhaul.
Emirates is well known for its premium service, so this overhaul is an ambitious decision, as many other airlines are trying their hardest to increase revenues and reduce costs.
“Emirates is flying against the grain and investing to deliver ever better experiences to our customers. Through the pandemic we’ve continued to launch new services and initiatives to ensure our customers travel with the assurance and ease, including digital initiatives to improve customer experiences on the ground. Now we’re rolling out a series of intensive programmes to take Emirates’ signature inflight experiences to the next level,” says Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline.
The investment aims to ensure Emirates stays on top form, with many of the upgrades scheduled to materialize quickly. For the physical refit, aircraft are scheduled to enter the Emirates Engineering Center in November. So what can passengers expect once work is complete? The most significant change will be to aircraft interiors, where flyers of all classes will immediately spot new flooring, paneling, and reupholstered seats.
As well as a physical overhaul, the airline plans to upgrade entertainment systems, adding a “Cinema in the Sky” experience, complete with a bespoke app. In addition, better meal choices will reflect changing dietary preferences, including a new vegan menu and a nod to sustainability — though there will remain a strong luxury vibe to the proceedings, as the company has entered an exclusive agreement to offer Dom Perignon vintage champagne on board, as well as delicacies such as Persian caviar.
Though many of the improvements may seem trivial, Emirates is hoping that along with a huge cabin overhaul, their overall flight experience will continue to make travel a pleasurable experience, elevating their service above the competition.