TCL will not make BlackBerry smartphones from August 31, 2020. The two companies signed a deal in December 2016, in which, BlackBerry had sold off exclusive rights to China’s TCL Communication for the smartphone business. It meant that TCL could design, manufacture or sell any new mobile device in most countries under BlackBerry name. But now, the deal is off.
Yesterday, BlackBerry Mobile published a statement about the TCL deal. It noted that the brand licensing and technology support agreement with TCL Communication will be terminated on August 31, 2020. The company will not have further rights to design, manufacture or sell any new BlackBerry-branded mobile device. 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 as long as is required by your local laws).
— BlackBerry Mobile (@BBMobile) February 3, 2020
“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,” noted BlackBerry Mobile’s statement. “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 has no further rights to design, manufacture or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices.”
Watch Video: Best non-Chinese smartphones in India
Last BlackBerry smartphone from TCL was the Red variant of Key2 at MWC 2019. The company unveiled BlackBerry Key2 LE “Atomic” Red variant, which had a red frame and red accents for the keyboard. This special edition also featured new Hub+ software that included an added Action bar in the Hub+ application base, allowing users to quickly access primary features such as search, sort and compose. The phone was otherwise exactly same as the original Key2. However, there was an increase in internal storage, which was bumped from 64GB to 128GB.