BREAKING NEWS: TCL Walk Away From Blackberry
TCL who are about to launch a new range of sub $500 smartphones that won over highly critical US journalists at CES 2020, is set to part Company with Blackberry.
Blackberry like Nokia and Motorola have struggled ever since Steve Jobs and his iPhone showed them how a smartphone should be built and marketed.
After taking over the brand in 2016, TCL has struggled to grow share for the once iconic brand due to a lack of enthusiasm from consumers and the corporate world who had moved on from the once secure Blackberry to iPhones and Samsung’s Android devices.
TCL introduced a touchscreen, and the famous Blackberry physical keyboard which doubled-up as a trackpad.
And they had decent cameras, “Certainly the best cameras ever seen on a BlackBerry” said one fan.
In an effort to stimulate the brand TCL released several contemporary Android phones featuring the classic BlackBerry keyboard but this did not work, TCL will walk away from the brand in August 2020, the Company said it will provide services and support for its BlackBerry phones until August 2022.
TCL are focused Company who need market share to keep their manufacturing lines operational, Alcatel another TCL brand is the #3 smartphone brand in Australia and their new TCL branded smartphones are tipped to be successful in markets like Australia the USA and Europe.
The lack of demand for devices that focused on software and cyber-security is what has killed off the Blackberry brand with analysts tipping that there will be “little interest” from other brands to take on the Blackberry brand.
Under the agreement, with TCL, BlackBerry Limited provided apps and a security-enhanced version of the Android operating system for the devices, while TCL paid BlackBerry a royalty for each one sold.
Announcing the end of the agreement, TCL said it had been “blessed” to work with BlackBerry on the smartphones.
During the past two years there has only been trickle of new BlackBerry phones from TCL and most of these were “Purchased by Government Departments, large Corporations or Crooks” who wanted the security that the Blackberry delivered said one observer.
They were pretty good as well – if you’re a die-hard fan who couldn’t cope without a physical keyboard to type on.
Rumours circulated at CES that TCL and BlackBerry had fallen out due to the lack of sales.
Then, somebody claiming to be a TCL employee posted on a message board, saying TCL was frustrated with Blackberry.
They said the company believed it could sell phones with the iconic BlackBerry keyboard but didn’t want to use its Android software and brand as well.
The author has never come forward, but the predictions made in the post have come true: the agreement is coming to an end.
“There is little doubt TCL has struggles with BlackBerry-branded devices despite producing some exciting designs,” said Ben Wood from the CCS Insight consultancy.
“The world has moved on, and on-screen keyboards are now the defecto standard. Add to that big advances on the security of Android and Apple’s strong position in enterprise business and it is hard to have an optimistic outlook,” he told the BBC.
“Furthermore, TCL has made no secret of making a big push in 2020 with smartphones using its own brand. That is now likely the primary strategic focus for the business.”
In a statement, TCL said: “We were very excited and humbled to take on this challenge.
“What made these devices great wasn’t just the hardware developed and manufactured by TCL Communication, but also the critical security and software features provided by BlackBerry Limited to ensure these were genuine BlackBerry devices.
“The future is bright for both TCL Communication and BlackBerry Limited, and we hope you’ll continue to support both as we move ahead on our respective paths.”