TCL is planning to end the production of the BlackBerry phones later this year. The brand took to Twitter to announce the end of the agreement with blackBerry and will stop selling the phones as of August 31st 2020.
The decision to end the agreement comes after blackberry decided to end the hardware development in-house.
Following a press statement released to Black Berry’s Twitter account. They note that “We do regret to announce that as of August 31, 2020. TCL will no longer be selling Blackberry branded mobile devices. TCL has no further rights to continue to design, manufacture or sell any BlackBerry mobile device. However, they will provide support for the existing portfolio of mobile devices including customer service and warranty service until August 31 2022.”
The existing devices that will receive the support include the KeyOne, Key2 and Key2 LE, as well as a few less popular all touchscreen phones from the brand.
BlackBerry decided in 2016 to stop making its own phones, after years of failures. It then signed a licensing deal with TCL to design and sell blackberry branded phones.
Since then, TC has done a decent job of pairing classically BlackBerry-style designs with the functions of modern Android phones.
TCL has in the past worked with other mobile brands. They include Alcatel and Palm which the company has slowly built out its name.
in 2019, TCL won two 2019 iF Design Awards for the BlackBerry Key2 and Key2 LE smartphones. The two smartphones were among 6,375 entries from 52 countries competing to receive the iF DESIGN AWARD’s seal of quality. They bypassed the 67-member jury of independent experts from around the world for their distinct smartphone design and unique combination of form.
There is no further formal information on if the brand will pass the license to a to another manufacturer. From their statement, it seems no further production will be going on.
Blackberry has ceased to comment further on the statement leaving behind so many speculations on the future of the brand. Other speculations revolve around TCL wanting to focus on its own brand. Early this year, TCL made an announcement that it will soon be launching it’s phone brand this year.