Sorry, diehard BlackBerry fans. The iconic, full-keyboard smartphones could be disappearing again for good as its largest partner officially unplugs deal with the mobile phone company.
TCL Communication, the electronics enterprise that makes BlackBerry smartphones, announced Monday that the partnership has ended. The consumer electronics manufacturer added it is going to stop promoting BlackBerry-branded mobile devices in August 2020.
TCL to Continue Repair Service for Existing Devices Until 2022
In a statement posted on its official Twitter account, TCL said it no longer has the right to "design, manufacture or sell" any new Blackberry gadgets. However, the manufacturer would continue helping existing devices with customers and guarantee service until 2022.
pic.twitter.com/jhcfVHjVqL — BlackBerry Mobile (@BBMobile) February 3, 2020
As written by The Verge, BlackBerry appears not to have manufacturing partnerships with other companies to make its phones. The setup could spell out either a hiatus or potentially a complete disappearance of the BlackBerry brand. The business enterprise has not indicated whether it would be searching for partnerships with other producers to preserve its telephones alive.
"For those of us at TCL Communication who were blessed sufficient to work on BlackBerry Mobile, we need to thank all our partners, clients and the BlackBerry fan community for their aid over these past few years," TCL Communication said in the statement.
The BlackBerry fans could lose the chance to shop for one of the devices that had been as soon as so famous that people nicknamed them "CrackBerries."
BlackBerry's Fall: A Brief Summary
News of the BlackBerry's lapsed agreement with TCL follows the sunsetting of numerous of its other products, inclusive of the as soon as trail-blazing BlackBerry Messenger.
Last year, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was the modern-day in a string of legacy messaging apps to be wounded down.
TCL Communication labored with BlackBerry to provide the KEY series smartphones, inclusive of the BlackBerry KEYonne Motion, KEY2, and KEY2 LE. BlackBerry devices, apart from its keyboard features, had been lauded for the business enterprise's well-seemed security features.
The organization stopped making its smartphones in 2016, and instead outsourced production of the gadgets to manufacturing companions, which include TCL Communication.
The selection came amid falling phone sales - there were fewer new telephone customers to function the marketplace became extra saturated. BlackBerry was also slow to the touchscreen game, inflicting it to lose out to Apple's iPhone, Samsung's Galaxy, and other Android gadgets.
TCL's discontinuation of BlackBerry phones marks the end of an era for a smartphone brand that once claimed 20% of the global phone market. But as the company struggled to keep pace with smartphones as the iPhone and Android rose to popularity, BlackBerry slowly faded out of relevancy in the global smartphone market.
BlackBerry, TCL to Focus on Other Areas in Tech Industry
BlackBerry has since pivoted its focus to other industries within the tech sector, such as enterprise platforms, cybersecurity tools, and automotive software. The approach helped BlackBerry return the threshold of failure just under a decade ago, while investors had been involved approximately the corporation's survival while the organization remains struggling to turn an income in 2020.
The heartbreaking announcement also comes as TCL has been expanding its own-self branding smartphone lineup. At the CES tech conference in January, for example, it showcased a new lineup of Android smartphones it plans to launch this year, as well as foldable concept phones.