BlackBerry’s smartphone may soon call the market bye-bye, as it has been announced by China’s TCL Communications, which sells it, to separate from the brand. In August this year TCL will be divesting from Canada’s BlackBerry Limited. Existing BlackBerry smartphone customers will however continue to receive after-sales service until August 31, 2022.
When BlackBerry decided to shift its focus from the smartphone market in 2016, China’s TCL Communications signed an agreement with the firm to manufacture and sell BlackBerry smartphones. BlackBerry KEYone, BlackBerry KEY2 and BlackBerry Motion are among TCL’s designed and manufactured BlackBerry handsets and sold in major markets.
The smartphone market got Android-based BlackBerry phones, including phones such as the BlackBerry Key-One and BlackBerry Key 2, through TCL Communication. Both of these phones also received a touchscreen with physical keyboards. This Chinese company came in August 2018 with the last BlackBerry KEY 2 LE phone, launched in the Indian market in October 2018.
In its statement TCL Communication said that working on BlackBerry smartphones was very good. Some online reports, however, said the firm was deeply disappointed and had made up its mind to shut it down shortly.
TCL sold BlackBerry smartphones in select markets, which excludes the Indian market. In 2017, BlackBerry partnered with Optiemus Infracom to exclusively manufacture and sell their Android handsets in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. It launched the last BlackBerry KEY2 LE smartphone on the Indian market.