We already know that BlackBerry as a hardware maker died some time back but the name was kept alive by TCL. While BlackBerry is still in the software business, they had licensed the name to TCL to distribute its Android phones. TCL kicked out a few decent devices under the name but that may be coming to an end.
TCL has been making big leaps into the North American market with its TVs along with other brands of Android devices. The company also distributes phones under the Alcatel and Palm brand names but is gaining traction with its own TCL brand as well.
In a Tweet to fans, TCL announced their licensing agreement for the BlackBerry name is expiring in August and they will no longer be selling phones under the name. For those who own a TCL BlackBerry-branded phone now, the company will continue to support them.
Without TCL making new phones, it’s possible the BlackBerry brand will disappear for a moment. BlackBerry does have other phone manufacturing partners, but their relationships are much more limited. BB Merah Putih launched a single phone in Indonesia in 2017, and Optiemus Infracom made some phones for India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. TCL had the rights for all other regions.
We’ve reached out to BlackBerry for comment. There’s no word yet on whether BlackBerry will look for another manufacturing partner or begin to make its own phones again.The Verge via MSN
While it may still be possible to renew the agreement, the likelihood is slim since the company is building its own brand as an authority. We’ve seen TCL phones at IFA and CES and have been impressed with some of its offerings. So it’s likely they will just walk away from the partnership and call it a day.