TCL acquires global rights to BlackBerry brand

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TCL

Chinese manufacturer has secured exclusive rights to design, manufacture and sell BlackBerry branded devices globally

BlackBerry Limited has announced it has entered a long-term licensing agreement TCL Communication, allowing the Chinese manufacturer to make and sell Blackberry devices.

The Canadian firm will also licence its service suite and security software such as DTEK, which saw its debut in the DTEK50 and reoccurrence in the DTEK60.

Both devices were manufactured by TCL, with the new agreement BlackBerry will focus on software development.

The deal marks BlackBerry’s first licensing deal since announcing its transition to a software company. TCL will handle sales and distribution of future BlackBerry handsets, utilising a dedicated sales team.

The agreement gives TCL the rights to manufacture and sell BlackBerry branded devices to all countries except: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia, some of BlackBerry’s biggest handset markets.

TCL chief executive officer Nicolas Zibell said: “Together with BlackBerry’s smartphone software platform, this partnership will strengthen our position in the global mobile market.”

BlackBerry chief operating officer and general manager of mobility solutions Ralph Pini said: “TCL Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry’s software and brand on a global scale. We successfully partnered with them on the DTEK series of secure smartphones and we’ve been impressed with their excellence in hardware design, development and manufacturing.”

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