BlackBerry, the Canadian-based multinational wireless telecommunications software and mobile hardware company has been a pioneer and a leading force in the smartphone market. However, having established an iron grip on the enterprise and successfully bridging the gap from a normal feature phone to a smartphone, in the recent years it has struggled to maintain its user base.
Moreover, with the introduction of Apple iPhones and Google's android platform, the two have taken over the smartphone business with a combined market share that tops 90 percent. Blackberry, on the other hand, has fallen behind.
Since then, the company's attempt to get back into the smartphone scenario has failed and earlier in September, Blackberry even made an announcement stating that they would stop making their own phones and concentrate instead on services and software.
Terms of the Agreement
Amidst such developments, Blackberry has announced that it has signed over the global rights to use its branding on phones to Chinese manufacturer TCL who also produces phones under the Alcatel marque.
Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry will license its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets to TCL Communication who will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices. As for BlackBerry, it will continue to control and develop its security and software solutions.
And, while the deal is being touted as global, there are some exceptions, though. It won't apply in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, or Indonesia.
Some Reassuring Words
Well, the news might have come on a negative note for the Blackberry fans, but Nicolas Zibell, CEO of TCL Communication expressed that, TCL Communication was committed to creating the best portfolio solutions, while ensuring the quality support to consumers and enterprise users who trust the integrity of the BlackBerry device and the brand's security leadership, coupled with the Android platform.
He added that together with BlackBerry's smartphone software platform, this partnership will strengthen the position of both in the global mobile market.
Further reassuring the fans, Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry stated that this agreement with TCL Communication represented a key step in the company's strategy to focus on putting the 'smart in the phone' by providing state-of-the-art security and device software on a platform that mobile users would prefer and be comfortable with.
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He added that TCL Communication was the natural choice to license BlackBerry's software and brand on a global scale. After successfully partnering with them on the DTEK series of secure smartphones and Blackberry was impressed with their excellence in hardware design, development, and manufacturing.
Blackberry is confident that BlackBerry-branded products developed and distributed by TCL Communication will address the needs of BlackBerry users and further expand the availability of BlackBerry Secure products throughout the world.
The Future of Blackberry
Just to recap, TCL Communication will now be the exclusive global manufacturer and distributor for all BlackBerry-branded smartphones.
So, if you are Blackberry fan and are planning on buying new BlackBerry phone, in the future it won't be made by BlackBerry. Besides, it looks like the Blackberry name will not carry that much weight, and considering the fact that TCL's devices aren't all that high-end or exciting, it would be exciting to see how much the arrangement will last.
Blackberry might be betting on its future, but either way, from this point onwards, a Blackberry phone will not be as authentic as it used to be.