BlackBerry partners with China’s TCL to design and manufacture BlackBerry smartphones

China’s TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd will manufacture and sell BlackBerry branded smartphones globally.

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Highlights

    • TCL Communications to manufacture and sell BlackBerry smartphones.
    • BlackBerry to insert its software and services in the devices.
    • DTEK-60, BlackBerry’s last Android-based smartphone.

BlackBerry has announced that China’s TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd will now manufacture and sell BlackBerry branded smartphones globally. With its first licensing deal, the Canadian company said that it would to stop manufacturing its own devices and focus instead on software and services.

The Chinese electronics company TCL, who already owns Alcatel branded smartphones will be making the devices with BlackBerry’s software and services chipped in it.

According to a press statement, “BlackBerry will license its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets to TCL Communication who will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.

However, the deal though cited as global won’t be applicable in the South Asian countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. As per a report from Bloomberg, BlackBerry has already made a licensing agreement in Indonesia and is working with another deal with an Indian company.

BlackBerry back in September said that it would subcontract its smartphone manufacturing, and launched its last smartphone, the Android-based DTEK60. The phone was made by TCL and carried a few parts from TCL’s Alcatel Idol 4 smartphone.

With TCL holding as a manufacturer and distributor for BlackBerry smartphones, Nicolas Zibell, CEO of TCL Communication in a press statement said, “At TCL Communication, we are committed to creating the best portfolio solutions, while ensuring the quality support to consumers and enterprise users who trust the integrity of the BlackBerry device and the brand’s security leadership, coupled with the Android platform.”

Further, the Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry, Ralph Pini said, “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.”

TCL Communication is the fourth largest handset maker in North America which operates nine R&D centers worldwide and deals in consumer electronic products globally in over 160 countries.

Reuters Inputs