BlackBerry phones will be manufactured by China-based device maker TCL going forward, marking this the first time the Canadian company has inked a long-term licensing agreement since it turned its focus to software.
This news comes fairly hot on the heels when BlackBerry announced that it'll stop manufacturing and designing handsets after suffering a loss amounting to $372 million back in September, saying that it'll depend on partners for the hardware side of things.
BlackBerry And TCL: A Strong Partnership
According to the terms, TCL will take the reins when it comes to designing, manufacturing, and selling BlackBerry phones, including providing customer support for the devices.
That said, TCL believes blending its hardware and BlackBerry's software will let the two achieve a strong standing in the smartphone competition in markets across the globe.
"Together with BlackBerry's smartphone software platform, this partnership will strengthen our position in the global mobile market," TCL CEO Nicolas Zibell says.
Considering that BlackBerry collaborated with TCL to produce the DTEK50 and DTEK60 phones before, this is more or less a natural move for the company to take, as the two already have a familiar common ground to work on, so to speak.
"With our unparalleled expertise in mobile security and software and TCL Communication's vast global reach and consumer access, we are confident that BlackBerry-branded products developed and distributed by TCL Communication will address the needs of BlackBerry users and expand the availability of BlackBerry Secure products throughout the world," Ralph Pini, BlackBerry chief operating officer and Mobility Solutions general manager, says, singing the same tune as TCL.
More On The BlackBerry-TCL Deal
For the record, BlackBerry will remain responsible of the development and management of security and software, and it'll also continue to serve its customers.
It should also be cleared up that while TCL will mainly oversee manufacturing and distribution on a global scale, it won't handle the markets in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India.
Interestingly enough, Indonesia is where BlackBerry's largest phone market lies, and back in September, it signed an agreement with BB Merah Putih to let the Indonesian company source, distribute, and promote BlackBerry-branded devices in the country.
In light of the partnership, BlackBerry will continue to have a presence in terms of hardware in the market thanks to TCL while it narrows down efforts on software.
With all said and done, feel free to let us know what you think of BlackBerry and TCL's newly inked deal in the comments section below.