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BlackBerry Phones May Disappear For Good

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BlackBerry Phones May Disappear For Good


The brand keeping BlackBerry phones alive across most of the globe, TCL Communications, plans to stop selling BlackBerry phones later this year. 

In a tweet on 4 Feb 2020, TCL announced that it “will no longer be selling” BlackBerry-branded phones as of August 31st, 2020, because it will no longer have the rights to design and manufacture them. Existing devices will continue to be supported.


BlackBerry decided in 2016 to stop making its own phones, after years of failures, and to license its brand out instead. The biggest licensing deal was with TCL, which since December 2016 has had the near-global rights to design and sell BlackBerry-branded phones. 

It’s done a decent job of it, pairing classically BlackBerry-style designs with the functions of modern Android phones. None of the devices have been blockbuster hits, though, and recent devices have received poor reviews.

Without TCL making new phones, it’s possible the BlackBerry brand will disappear for a moment. BlackBerry does have other phone manufacturing partners, but their relationships are much more limited. 

The bigger move here may be from TCL. The company has slowly built out its name over the past several years making phones under several different brand names, including BlackBerry, Alcatel, and Palm. This year, the company intends to start selling phones under its own name. Leaving BlackBerry behind may just give the company more time to focus on devices of its own.

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