China's TCL to Make, Sell BlackBerry-Branded Phones

Under the agreement, BlackBerry will license its security software and services to TCL who will integrate them into new handsets. TCL has revealed that its devices will be coupled with BlackBerry's security software and service suite and then sold in the market.

"TCL Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry's software and brand on a global scale", said Ralph Pini, chief operating officer of BlackBerry, hailing the Chinese company's vast global reach and consumer access. 2017 will be an interesting year for BlackBerry, all things considered. The first Blackberry TCL phones are set to go on sale in Australia early in 2017.

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The company announced in September that it would stop making hardware after struggling to return its once profitable smartphone business into the black, and would shift focus to its growing security software operations. The company in question is TCL, the Chinese multinational electronics corporation that also sells mobile devices under the Alcatel brand. The company is called TCL and many of you probably have already heard of it since it's the same that own the Alcatel brand.

BlackBerry has seen its share of the global smartphone market fall to a fraction of 1 percent, but its brand is still valued by some professionals in the USA and Europe who miss the easy typing afforded by the company's trademark keyboard.

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Take heart, Blackberry fans: new Blackberry-branded smartphones will be on the market soon.

Well, nearly. There's a few notable exceptions in the form of Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia, where separate licensing deals are said to be being negotiated, according to Bloomberg.

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The deal also indicates that TCL will be the one to design, manufacture, sell and even provide customer support for the fresh batch of handsets that will enter the market as BlackBerry-labeled phones.


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