Nokia is experiencing a resurgence after its failed venture with Microsoft and its Windows Phone platform. The brand found new life with the help of HMD as it embraced the Android operating system and continued to release affordable yet reliable smartphones. Blackberry was another iconic handset company that also went under but eventually licensed its name to TCL, which released several smartphones powered by Google's popular OS. The Chinese consumer electronics group recently confirmed that it will no longer renew its contract with the Canadian telecommunications group.
The licensing deal between TCL and Blackberry was doomed from the start after the partnership was unable to gain a foothold on an otherwise saturated smartphone market. Even with Android at its core, the brand struggled to go up against Apple, Samsung, and other notable Chinese manufacturers. An article from Ars Technica noted that both companies are amicable with the decision to end all mobile phone projects.
Blackberry Mobile posted its plans on social media to confirm that it will cease to manufacture handsets in the future. Its legal agreement with TCL is slated to expire on Monday, August 31, wherein all rights to develop and sell devices under the Blackberry brand will end. However, existing owners are still eligible to make warranty claims and receive customer service until August 31, 2022.
This evidently indicates that Blackberry will officially bow out of the smartphone market later this year. Fans of physical QWERTY keypads are left with no other alternatives other than the remaining ones from TCL. Users quickly posted reactions on Twitter with some expressing their sadness over the development. Others are still hoping that the company finds another partner that can hopefully revive the label.
It seems that existing owners of Blackberry smartphones are in for another unfortunate blow as TCL will no longer provide software support. This means Android security and operating system updates will no longer be available in the future.
At CES 2020, there were several Android smartphones presented by the Chinese manufacturer. Perhaps it was already an indication that it will push forward to compete against established brands. There was even a foldable model on display at the expo, which suggests TCL is willing to adapt to what consumers want, which was one of the reasons for the original downfall of Blackberry years ago.