BlackBerry licenses brand to Chinese phone maker TCL

BlackBerry has handed over its hardware business entirely, licensing the brand to TCL Communication for the development and release of all future BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

BlackBerry and TCL Communication, a subsidiary of Chinese multinational electronics company TCL Corporation, have announced on Friday a long-term global licensing agreement that will see TCL design, manufacture, sell, and support all future BlackBerry mobile devices.

Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry will also license its security software and service suite along with the BlackBerry name, logo, and all brand assets to TCL, which is the fourth largest handset manufacturer in North America.

During an announcement in September, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company is "no longer just about the smartphone, but the smart in the phone." The company will continue to control and develop its security and software solutions, while TCL will manage the sales and distribution of BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.

The agreement with TCL builds on the relationship established with the introduction of BlackBerry's DTEK50 and DTEK60 handsets, which were rebranded versions of TCL handsets.

TCL will be the exclusive global manufacturer and distributor for all BlackBerry-branded smartphones with the exception of India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.

In September, BlackBerry announced it would be forming a joint venture with Indonesian telco PT Tiphone Mobile that would see the telco making all future handsets in the country bearing the Blackberry name.

In March, BlackBerry unveiled Radar, an IoT solution that allows trucking companies and logistics players to track location, temperature, humidity, and cargo presence. BlackBerry's hardware is a standalone monitor that is installed on the door of a trailer. From there, the device connects to a mobile network.

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