Chinese electronics company, TCL, which has been making smartphones since 2016, has confirmed that it will no longer produce BlackBerry smartphones for the company.
This is because the electronics maker, will no longer have rights to design and manufacture BlackBerry smartphones. Thus the company will no longer be selling Berry phones from August 31st, 2020. However, existing devices will continue to receive support, but only for the next 2 years.
“TCL Communication has no further rights to design, manufacture or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices, however TCL Communication will continue to provide support for the existing portfolio of mobile devices including customer service and warranty service until August 31, 2022 – or for as long as required by local laws where the mobile device was purchased.”TCL said on Twitter.
In 2016, Blackberry decided to stop making its own smartphones after failing to compete with leading manufacturers in the space like Apple and Samsung. This was after 14 years of in-house smartphones designs by the company.
The phone maker then struck a deal with TCL to help design its hardware and sell its phones. Although, the Chinese Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) has done a pretty good job with matching BlackBerry’s cliche designs with functionalities expected of modern Android phones, the devices never lived up to their prices.
Infact, none of the devices have made chart smashing sales and even the recent devices have been receiving poor reviews.
Although BlackBerry does have other phone manufacturing partners, their reach is however limited. BB Merah Putih for instance has only launched a single phone in Indonesia in 2017. Optiemus Infracom made some phones but only for India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
As it stands, the smartphone manufacturer could either outsource its production again to another manufacturing partner, or resume manufacturing its own devices. But the worst prospect would be finally putting an end to the production of its phones and it might be staring the company in the face.
Whatever happens though, it is sure to be a loss to the company that once dominated the smartphone world.
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