Today, TCL Communications revealed that the company will lose its BlackBerry brand license and stop selling such devices in August. The announcement is a bit of a shock, and what this actually means for the BlackBerry brand as well as for BB mobile devices is unclear at this time.
BlackBerry phones under TCL have seen a resurgence in recent years, and one would have assumed the partnership was a success. We don’t currently know if BlackBerry will partner with another OEM to continue manufacturing devices or if BB devices will be the end of it.
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 to offer new modern BlackBerry smartphones globally, we were very excited and honored to take on this challenge. . Indeed, our KEY Series smartphones, starting with KEYone, were eagerly awaited by the BlackBerry community. What made these devices great was not only the hardware developed and manufactured by TCL Communication, but also the essential security and software features provided by BlackBerry Limited to ensure that they were genuine BlackBerry devices. The support of BlackBerry Limited has been a vital part of bringing devices such as BlackBerry KEYone, Motion, KEY2 and KEY2 LE to life and we are proud to have worked with them in recent years on these products.
However, we regret to share that as of August 31, 2020, TCL Communication will no longer sell BlackBerry brand 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 as long as required by local laws where the mobile device was purchased. . Further information is available at www.blackberrymobile.com or by calling customer support at the numbers available at https://blackberrymobile.com/hotline-and-service-center/.
For those of us at TCL Communication who have been fortunate enough to work on BlackBerry Mobile, we would like to thank all of our partners, customers and the BlackBerry fan community for their support over the 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 TCL Communication and BlackBerry Limited, and we hope you will continue to support both as we move forward on our respective paths.
On behalf of everyone who has worked with TCL Communication’s BlackBerry Mobile team over the years, we would like to thank you for allowing us to be a part of this journey.
As for TCL, the company is developing its own line of TCL branded devices which appear to be extremely competitive in their capabilities and designs. While this is a loss for the company, I’m sure their own branded devices will have enough success on their own – although we miss the classic BlackBerry devices with their characteristic physical keyboards.