BlackBerry’s fall from grace was very abrupt. Once upon a time, it was the king of smartphones before its arrogance paved the way for the duopoly of iPhone and Android. Eventually, TCL snagged the rights to sell BlackBerry branded devices, signaling the end of an era. That fall is best illustrated in BlackBerry’s latest so-called accomplishment: shipping a pathetic amount of KeyOne flagships.
According to IDC’s Francisco Jeronimo, BlackBerry shipped a total of 850,000 units of the KeyOne in 2017. While those numbers are not as bad as Essential Phone’s figures, it is not something to be proud of. It’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the figures posted by Apple and Samsung.
In response to the sales figures, a BlackBerry/TCL representative told The Verge that they are proud of the milestone, referring to it as “mission accomplished.” The representative was particularly excited for the “channel presence” of the brand. The optimistic outlook is befuddling to say the least, but to each their own.
To its credit, this isn’t the only bar for success for BlackBerry. Its sights are set on much bigger goals. As to whether it can reach that goal, we’ll be more inclined to believe it if it ever clears one million units shipped.
TCL has plans to release two new BlackBerry devices in 2018.