TCL acquires global rights to BlackBerry brand

Georgia ReedDec 17, 2016

This deal gives TCL and Alcatel exclusive rights to sell BlackBerrys everywhere except Indonesia, where BlackBerry has an existing licensing deal, and India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

The announcement of Canada-based BlackBerry's licensing deal with TCL implies that BlackBerry - once a big name in the smartphone market - is now closer to becoming a full-fledged security software and services company.

This agreement between the two companies does not come as a surprise, given that TCL has already delivered its first two handsets for BlackBerry this year.

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According to BlackBerry Chief Operating Officer Ralph Pini, the change will help BlackBerry to focus more on their software chops, allowing their phones to stand out in a crowded consumer market.

While the handset will be made by TCL, BlackBerry will provide its security software and service suite.

The fact that TCL hasn't been allowed to launch BlackBerry-branded smartphones in Indonesia, one of the biggest markets for these devices, is rather odd. BlackBerry has huge presence in enterprise mobility and security solutions and that's something that the company intends to build on post the smartphone deal with TCL. The company in question is TCL, the Chinese multinational electronics corporation that also sells mobile devices under the Alcatel brand.

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This news comes fairly hot on the heels when BlackBerry announced that it'll stop manufacturing and designing handsets after suffering a loss amounting to $372 million back in September, saying that it'll depend on partners for the hardware side of things.

For what it's worth, BlackBerry confirms that it will continue to work on the software side of things, including security endeavors.

BlackBerry DTEK60 and DTEK50 are all powered by Android OS and the upcoming keyboard phone is also expected to keep the same trend.

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