BlackBerry Mobile is dead, again: TCL announces end of agreement

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TCL has taken to Twitter to announce that it will make no more BlackBerry-branded hardware from 31 August this year. 

The announcement has been made just over three years after the Chinese tech manufacturer took on the brand name and licenses for building BlackBerry smartphones.

This was following BlackBerry’s decision to end hardware development in-house, after struggling for years to compete with Android smartphones and iPhones. 

Since then, the company launched the KeyOne, Key2 and Key2 LE as well as a few less popular all touchscreen phones, but it seems – for now at least – that BlackBerry phones are dead. Again.  

In the note it states that “TCL Communication has no further rights to design, manufacture or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices” but it will continue to support existing devices with customer service and warranty service until 2022. 

The words used almost make it sound as though it wasn’t TCL’s decision to end the branding license agreement, but that isn’t explicitly stated, and it could be that TCL opted not to review for one of many reasons: perhaps a lack of popularity. 

TCL declined to comment further on this when we asked for further information. 

While there’s been nothing official said until now, there have been rumours about BlackBerry devices from TCL ending for a little while. After all, there hasn’t been a new phone for some time. 

The company’s last BlackBerry launch was the Key2 LE, which was unveiled in August 2018, and hit the market way back in October 2018. 

Whether this means that the license for BlackBerry products will pass to a new manufacturer, we don’t know. But it could well be that those QWERTY-equipped pocket productivity powerhouses are dead, again. 

For now at least, it’s good-bye BlackBerry. It’s been emotional. 

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