BlackBerry recently announced it was shutting down the legacy services that allowed phones running BlackBerry OS to make calls, send and receive text messages, and more. But that shutdown would only affect older phones running BlackBerry’s operating systems and not newer BlackBerry-branded phones running Android.
But the company has been slowly pulling the plug on some of the Android apps that were unique to phones with the BlackBerry name. Several key apps already reached end of life in 2019, and the rest will no longer be supported after August 31, 2022.
Note that reaching end of life doesn’t necessarily mean the apps won’t be available anymore – you can still find some apps that have already been marked as EOL in the Google Play Store, including Productivity Tab, Battery Center, Notable, and Device Search. But since these apps are no longer supported or updated, and some can only be run on BlackBerry-branded phones, it’s unlikely that BlackBerry’s EOL apps come pre-installed on any upcoming phones.
So even if Onward Mobility or another company does bring a new BlackBerry-branded phone to market in the future, it will likely be BlackBerry in name only and not in software. That said, maybe it’s not the software that’s important these days, so much as Onward Mobility’s promise to deliver a phone with a physical keyboard, something that’s increasingly uncommon in the modern smartphone space.