Global Rights For BlackBerry Brand Now With China’s TCL; Blackberry To Abandon Smartphone Market?


China's TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd is now the fourth-largest handset maker in North America after BlackBerry Ltd took off its global brand rights. This is the first licensing deal made by BlackBerry since its transition to a software company.

The agreement gave rights to TCL to make and sell BlackBerry-branded mobile devices globally while BlackBerry provides the security, apps and customer support. However, reports circulating that while the semi-exclusive deal does open possibilities in a key part of the BlackBerry's market, it does not apply to the company's biggest markets like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia, Techcrunch reported.

While it's the first deal of its kind for BlackBerry, sources reported that language surrounding the announcement implies that it won't be the last deal the company will be making and it is seen to deprive other manufacturers to have access to the same sort of direct branding as TLC.

According to BlackBerry COO and general manager Ralph Pini, the agreement with TCL Communication represents a key step in the company's 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, Digital Trends has learned. He emphasized that TLC Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry's software and brand on a global scale.

Sources also reported that in September BlackBerry has signed another deal giving Indonesia's BB Mera Putih the rights to make and sell new devices in the country. It is worth noting that months ago, BlackBerry has launched its last mobile device- the Android-based DTEK60 made by the Chinese hardware maker TCL, which is also behind the Alcatel brand and BlackBerry's DTEK50.

Ever since BlackBerry has relinquished its smartphone market to rivals like Apple and Samsung, it has tried its luck and shifted to a more profitable business of making software and managing mobile devices.

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