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TCL will no longer make BlackBerry phones

Jasper Hart
February 3, 2020

Announcement comes after no new devices in 2019

TCL has announced that it will no longer make or sell mobile phones under the BlackBerry licence.

The Chinese manufacturer, which holds the licence for Alcatel and has also started producing its own branded smartphones, will no longer make or sell BlackBerry phones as of August 31 this year.

It will continue to provide customer service and warranty service until August 31 2022, but has not confirmed if it will provide concurrent Android system upgrades during that time.

TCL acquired the BlackBerry licence in 2016 when BlackBerry Limited company committed its efforts to developing software security solutions. This acquisition came in the wake of Blackberry’s global market share falling from 21 per cent in 2009 to less than one per cent in 2016.

The most recently released BlackBerry device was the Key2, released in 2018. That year saw BlackBerry’s smartphone market share in the UK rise from 0.1 per cent to 0.4 per cent, according to IDC.

A statement released by BlackBerry Mobile’s Twitter account read: “For those of us at TCL Communication who were blessed enough to work on BlackBerry Mobile, we want to thank all our partners, customers and the BlackBerry fan community for their support over these 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 Both TCL Communication and BlackBerry Limited, and we hope you’ll continue to support both as we move ahead on our respective paths.”

Given that no other vendor has expressed public interest in acquiring the licence, BlackBerry phones may cease production entirely.

BlackBerry’s UK distributor Data Select has been reached for comment.

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