This news does not come as a surprise as BlackBerry was dropping hints since September and now the company has officially signed away its life to TCL. For those who don’t know, TCL is the Chinese hardware maker behind brands like Alcatel.
In a press release, BlackBerry announced its formal long-term agreement with TCL, which states that TCL will be taking care of BlackBerry’s design, manufacturing, and retail segment. However, BlackBerry will still be working on licensing its security software and applications such as the BlackBerry Hub.
As we mentioned earlier, this move is not surprising at all because TCL had already collaborated with BlackBerry for two smartphones – the BlackBerry DTEK50 and DTEK60. Both of the devices were spin-off designs by Alcatel, which means that we might get to see a similar strategy for the upcoming phones.
Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officers and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry said in an official statement,“This agreement with TCL Communication represents a key step in our strategy to focus on putting the ‘smart in the phone’ by providing state-of-the-art security and device software on a platform that mobile users prefer and are comfortable with. TCL Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry’s software and brand on a global scale. We successfully partnered with them on the DTEK series of secure smartphones and we’ve been impressed with their excellence in hardware design, development and manufacturing. With our unparalleled expertise in mobile security and software and TCL Communication’s vast global reach and consumer access, we are confident that BlackBerry-branded products developed and distributed by TCL Communication will address the needs of BlackBerry users and expand the availability of BlackBerry Secure products throughout the world.”
With the official deal, TCL will manufacture and distribute all the forthcoming BlackBerry-branded phones, but markets like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia will not be the part of the distribution markets under TCL. BlackBerry has not yet revealed its plans for the said countries. There are chances that BlackBerry might rope in some other company to take care of manufacturing and distributing phones in those countries.