TCL will stop selling BlackBerry-branded smartphones as of August 31, 2020. The Chinese company has announced the end of the licensing agreement, indicating that it no longer has the design, production or sale rights for any type of new mobile device from BlackBerry.
However, TCL will continue to support existing equipment, including warranties and customer support, until August 31, 2022, leaving a possible extension of this period in the air taking into account the laws of the country where the smartphone was purchased.
It is recalled that in 2016, TCL entered into an agreement with the Canadian Research in Motion to work with the BlackBerry Mobile brand, in a contract that contemplated the production and marketing of its devices. Since then, the Chinese company has bet on the launch of smartphones that combined the typical QWERTY keyboard of BlackBerry equipment with the Android system, such as KeyOne or KEY2.
In 2019, TCL took a Red Edition of KEY2 to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ??which had won the iF Design Award. Still in the 2018 edition of the IFA, the Chinese manufacturer had presented a more lite version of the smartphone.
The BlackBerry brand may have a hard time finding a new life with the end of the licensing agreement. Although it has partnerships with some companies, similar to the Indian manufacturer that developed the Evolve smartphones, the agreements are much more limited than the one it had with TCL.
TCL has already been focusing on its own smartphone brand, having announced the TCL Plex in the 2019 edition of the IFA. The Chinese manufacturer will continue to invest in this line of equipment and in 2020 new models are promised, with foldable smartphones and the first 5G equipment. The TCL Plex the first step, we will launch more models within the same range, said Kevin Wang to SAPO TEK in December last year.