TCL Communications, the company which is making BlackBerry-branded smartphones, has planned to stop making and selling BlackBerry smartphones later this year.
The company has announced that “it will no longer be selling” BlackBerry-branded smartphone from 31st August 2020. This development comes as the company will no longer have the rights to design and manufacture BlackBerry devices.
However, TCL has confirmed that existing devices will continue to be supported until 31st August 2022. With this announcement, both the companies are ending their four-year brand licensing and tech support partnership. TCL currently accounts for just 1 percent of the smartphone market.
BlackBerry was once one of the leading smartphone brands in the market, running its own proprietary operating system. With its QWERTY keyboard, the company had gained a loyal following, especially among professional users.
At the company’s peak, BlackBerry had over 50 percent of the market share in the United Sates and 20 percent globally. However, with the rise of Android and Apple’s iPhone, the company gradually started losing market share.
With TCL not making new BlackBerry-branded phones, it seems that the BlackBerry brand will disappear for the moment. The company does have another partner — Optiemus Infracom, which has launched BlackBerry smartphones in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.