Blackberry branded smartphones would not be sold or produced anymore by TCL Communication from August 2020. This was announced by the Chinese electronics group.
In an effort to revive its dwindling fortunes in the smartphone market, Blackberry partnered with TCL in 2016 and since then, the company has taken over the production of the handsets while Blackberry provides security and apps, using Andriod operating system.
Why the halt in production? Blackberry in a twitter post announced that August 2020 will mark the end of Blackberry and TCL’s four-year brand licensing and tech support partnership. The company further announced that TCL would continue to provide support for the already distributed smartphones in the market until August 31, 2022.
“We do regret to share, however, from August 31, 2020, TCL communication will no longer be selling Blackberry branded mobile devices. TCL has no further right to design, manufacture or sell any new blackberry mobile devices.
“But TCL 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 stated.
The company has not stated whether the end of this partnership means the end of the production line for the handsets. Users have reacted via Twitter asking if this is the end of the blackberry smartphone line but the company is yet to disclose any plans for the future.
@JohnChen will @BlackBerry be releasing any response or at least confirm the end of the handheld device or future plans? The secrecy and lack of communication is what makes fans move to other brands.
— Latinlyrics (@latinlyrics) February 3, 2020
What you should know: The global smartphone market now dominated by Apple and Android-powered handsets were once solely dominated by Blackberry.
The rise of Apple and Android operating system powered phones made Blackberry’s reign to crash down, as people began to love the iOS and the Android OS more while also getting used to the touchscreens, touch keyboard and mobile apps the phones came with.
TCL began to abandon the market as it started to concentrate more on software and services instead of taking charge of competition arising from Apple and Android. Critics have blamed Blackberry’s downfall in the market to their ignorance of the evolving touchscreen, bad phone designs and exclusive messaging platform that is the Blackberry Messenger (BBM), among others.
TCL currently has only a 1% share of the global smartphone market covering both its BlackBerry and Alcatel brands.