TCL will no longer sell BlackBerry phones

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 04, 2020 Published on February 04, 2020

Does end of partnership mean an indefinite pause on BlackBerry phones?

TCL Communication will no longer be selling BlackBerry phones from September 2020, the brand announced on Monday.

“We do regret to share however that as of August 31, 2020, TCL Communication will no longer be selling BlackBerry-branded mobile devices,” BlackBerry had said in an official statement posted on Twitter.

The company, however, will continue to provide customer support for mobile devices manufactured in partnership with BlackBerry until August 2022.

“TCL Communication has no further rights to design, manufacture or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices, however, TCL Communication will continue to provide support for the existing portfolio of mobile devices, including customer service and warranty service until August 31, 2022 – or for as long as required by local laws where the mobile device was purchased,” the company said in its statement.

BlackBerry had licensed its BlackBerry mobile products to TCL Communication back in 2016 after facing staggering losses in the mobile sector. The company had decided to focus on its software and security products, licensing out its mobile phone business to third-party, The Verge reported.

Was biggest licensing partner

TCL Communication was BlackBerry’s biggest licensing partner. The brand has other partners in a few regions, including BB Merah Putih, which had launched a single BlackBerry phone in Indonesia in 2017, and Optiemus Infracom, which had produced a few phones for India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The rest of the regions were managed by TCL.

TCL was able to manufacture the BlackBerry KEY series, including the BlackBerry KEYone and BlackBerry KEY2, which successfully combined the iconic BlackBerry keyboard with a touchscreen panel. BlackBerry’s last release was the BlackBerry KEY 2 LE, unveiled back in 2018.

Considering that TCL had the right to sell BlackBerry phones for a majority of reasons, this might mean an indefinite pause on the sale of BlackBerry phones all together till the brand finds a new licensing partner.

TCL has decided to launch smartphones under its own brand name and is rumoured to be working on a foldable smartphone similar to the Motorola Razr (2019) and Samsung Galaxy Fold, according to a Gadgets 360 report.

Published on February 04, 2020
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