Big mutates are ahead for BlackBerry and TCL as the smartphone sell continues to see slowing growth. The pair announced today that they are able to cease their four-year brand licensing and tech carry partnership in August 2020, with TCL ceasing to construct brand-new poses of BlackBerry handsets after then. TCL — which has only a 1% share of the whole smartphone market today — will continue to support models that are already in the market until August 31, 2022.
” We … regret to share … that as of August 31, 2020, TCL Communication will no longer be selling BlackBerry-branded portable devices ,” says the document, posted BlackBerry’s Twitter account.” TCL has no further rights to motif, producers or sell any brand-new BlackBerry mobile devices .”
The company has yet to follow up with any more details about what this means for brand-new BlackBerry handsets after that moment.( We have asked directly but have not heard back. Beings inviting on Twitter are also not going any answers .)
The announcement caps off what has been a tough four years for the two companies.
BlackBerry, drawing inventions using its own operating system, was once a market leader and trailblazer in the world of smartphones, with its small-minded, full-qwerty keyboard gaining a loyal following among professional useds, “prosumers” and other early adopters. That notoriety lead to the Canada-founded company ensure some 50% of the smartphone sell in the US and some 20% globally at its peak.
That was, however, before the rise of the touchscreen. After the launch of Apple’s iPhone and a batch of Android-powered handsets, Research In Motion( as the company was called then) gradually experienced its share start to decline as it failed to produce compelling fairly handsets to fit changing tastes.
RIM/ BlackBerry appeared to be ready to leave the smartphone market wholly to focus instead on security, enterprise service and plans for other kinds of ” hardware” like connected cars, until TCL came along.
TCL’s announcement in December of 2016 that it would take over originating handsets, with BlackBerry to provide security and apps, but not the operating system, which would be Android — not unlike the partnership that another once-huge but now ageing handset brand, Nokia, struck up with HMD, just months before that, to acquire smartphones built on Android — looked like a brand-new lease of life for BB.
But the mutate may have been too little, too late. The last-place few years have viewed a general slowing down of smartphone increment, in huge division due to market penetration in many countries: conveying, it’s much harder to switching designs than it used to be. And on top of that, there have been an army of new handset makes out of Asia, and also building on Android, that are dominating auctions, led by Huawei but also including the likes of Xiaomi and Oppo, seeing the sales funnel even more challenging.
The end result has been that TCL and BlackBerry have struggled to break through with significant auctions — falling instead into the large, and principally fragmented, “other” list in smartphone market share reports.
StrategyAnalytics tells me that TCL has only a 1% share of the world smartphone market extending both its BlackBerry and Alcatel symbols( the latter is another legacy mobile handset brand that TCL resurrected ).
More recently, TCL has been wading into the market with its own-branded machines alongside its efforts with BlackBerry and Alcate ), and so the writing was, perhaps, once on the touchscreen, so to speak.
We’ve reached out to BlackBerry to find out if it can tell us any more on its plans for handsets going forward, of if “its certainly true it is” it. BlackBerry has inked some licensing collaboration in specific business, such as this handset deal in Indonesia, so there may be yet more to come.
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