Today, TCL Communications has revealed that the company will be losing their BlackBerry brand license, and will stop selling such devices this August. The announcement is a bit of a shock, and what this actually means for the BlackBerry brand as well as BB mobile devices is currently still unclear.
BlackBerry phones under TCL had seen a resurgence over the last few years, and one would have assumed the partnership was successful. Whether BlackBerry will be partnering with a different OEM to continue making devices, or if this will be the end of BB devices is something we currently don’t know.
The full announcement:
When TCL Communication announced in December 2016 that we had entered into a brand licensing and technology support agreement with BlackBerry Limited to continue making new, modern BlackBerry smartphones available globally we were very excited and humbled to take on this challenge. Indeed, our KEY Series smartphones, starting with KEYone, were highly-anticipated by the BlackBerry community. What made these devices great wasn’t just the hardware developed and manufactured by TCL Communication, but also the critical security and software features provided by BlackBerry Limited to ensure these were genuine BlackBerry devices. The support of BlackBerry Limited was an essential element to bringing devices like BlackBerry KEYone, Motion, KEY2 and KEY2 LE to life and we’re proud to have partnered with them these past few years on those products.
We do regret to share however that as of August 31, 2020, TCL Communication will no longer be selling BlackBerry-branded mobile devices. 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 mobile device was purchased. Further details can be found at www.blackberrymobile.com or by phoning customer support at the numbers found at https://blackberrymobile.com/hotline-and-service-center/ .
For those of us at TCL Communication who were blessed enough to work on BlackBerry Mobile, we want to thank all our partners, customers and the BlackBerry fan community for their support over these past few years. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many fans from all over the world during our world tour stops. The future is bright for both TCL Communication and BlackBerry Limited, and we hope you’ll continue to support both as we move ahead on our respective paths.
From everyone who worked on the BlackBerry Mobile team at TCL Communication over the years, we want to say ‘Thank You’ for allowing us to be part of this journey.
As for TCL, the company is ramping up their own TCL-branded range of devices that seem to be extremely competitive in their capabilities and designs. Whilst it’s a loss for the company, I’m sure their own brand devices will be successful enough on their own – although we’ll be missing the classical BlackBerry devices with their characteristic physical keyboards.
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