TCL Communications is the brand that basically kept the BlackBerry phones alive. Well, they want to stop selling these phones this year. TCL has announced in a tweet that they will no longer be selling these phones with the 31st of August 2020, because they do not have the rights to design and make them. But we also have good news: the existing devices will continue to be supported.
BlackBerry took a vital decision back in 2016: they decided not to manufacture their phones again after they failed for some years. Their biggest licensing deal was with TLC, and since December 2016, they had the right to design and then sell the BlackBerry phones. They did an excellent job with it, combining the classic style with the modern Android features. But none of the devices were “the real deal,” and the recent devices also had poor reviews.
But without TCL actually making new phones, the BlackBerry brand will hit a dead-end, at least for the moment. BlackBerry does have other partners, but their relationships are quite limited. For example, BB Merah Putih launched a single phone in Indonesia back in 2017, and also Optiemus Infracom made some for Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, but TCL has the rights for all the other regions.
BlackBerry has not released a statement so far, so we are waiting for more details. We do not know if they’re looking for another manufacturing partner, or if they will start making their own phones again.
TCL has made a name for themselves in the past few years, by making phones under several different brand names – for Palm and Alcatel, besides BlackBerry. T=we have heard that the company wants to start selling phones under their own name.