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BlackBerry hands over smartphone rights to TCL


The final stroke in BlackBerry strategic decision of not designing and building anymore smartphone by its team has been struck through a deal with TCL  Communication Technology Holdings Ltd. under which it the Canadian software giant has handed over smartphone rights to the Chinese company.

The move comes months after BlackBerry released its last in-house designed smartphone the BlackBerry DTEK60. BlackBerry has now officially handed over the rights to make and sell BlackBerry smartphones to TCL across the globe except a few key markets where BlackBerry smartphones are still sold like hot cakes including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.


BlackBerry has long been eyeing a software and services-only company tag and with its smartphone sales plummeting like a waterfall from top of a hill, the only logical thing to do was to either shutter its smartphone operations or hand over the business to someone else.

The Canadian company decided to go for the latter option and with that etched in stone, it will now be able to strengthen its position as a software and services giant. BlackBerry has immense presence in enterprise mobility and security solutions and that’s something that the company intends to build on post the smartphone deal with TCL. BlackBerry effectively lost the smartphone game to Apple and Samsung and decided to call it quits from this niche earlier this year.

TCL has revealed that its devices will be coupled with BlackBerry’s security software and service suite and then sold in the market. BlackBerry in September signed a deal giving Indonesia’s BB Merah Putih the rights to make and sell new devices in that country, its largest handset market.

“This agreement with TCL Communication represents a key step in our strategy to focus on putting the ‘smart in the phone’ by providing state-of-the-art security and device software on a platform that mobile users prefer and are comfortable with,” said Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Mobility Solutions, BlackBerry, in a statement.