TCL has acquired global rights to the famous BlackBerry brand. The Chinese firm has already manufactured two BlackBerry phones — the DTEK50 and DTEK60 — and will continue to produce devices using the name for the “long-term.”
TCL will design, manufacture, and sell the new BlackBerry-branded devices, and provide customer support for those who adopt them. BlackBerry will license its security software and service suite — just as it has for the DTEK series.
This announcement comes after BlackBerry confirmed in September is would no longer be designing and manufacturing its own devices in-house. It’s thought there could be one final handset from the Canadian company, but the rest will be produced by third parties.
Although TCL’s new agreement is being touted as a “global” one, there are some limitations. The deal does not extend to India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia where BlackBerry has other manufacturing deals in place or in the pipeline.
This news might come as a disappointment to BlackBerry fans, many of which have been somewhat disappointed that the DTEK series doesn’t offer the same premium build quality they’re used to getting with BlackBerry handsets.
But the deal at least keeps the BlackBerry name alive in the smartphone industry. TCL has also confirmed that its BlackBerry devices will continue to be powered by Android, so there’s still no hope for those praying for a revival of BB10.