BlackBerry may be “transitioning” itself into a mobile security software and services company but a recently struck deal means BlackBerry branded phones will continue to be available in major markets.
Having lost its status as the leading smartphone brand, BlackBerry has bought a series of security and service brands and is positioning itself as a one-stop solution for corporate IT departments needing to ensure system security and integrity.
The change of strategy saw the Canadian-based firm drop its handsets division but a “long-term” licensing agreement with TCL Communication means BlackBerry-branded will live on.
Under the deal, TCL Communication will design and build BlackBerry-branded mobile devices and support end users while BlackBerry continues its rebirth as a software solutions provider.
Two two firms say the deal will see the introduction of the DTEK50 and DTEK60 handsets on Android which deliver the standard of security that customers and partners trust.
“At TCL Communication, we are committed to creating the best portfolio solutions, while ensuring the quality support to consumers and enterprise users who trust the integrity of the BlackBerry device and the brand’s security leadership, coupled with the Android platform,” said Nicolas Zibell, CEO of TCL Communication.
“Together with BlackBerry’s smartphone software platform, this partnership will strengthen our position in the global mobile market.”
Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry, said: “TCL Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry’s software and brand on a global scale.
“We successfully partnered with them on the DTEK series of secure smartphones and we’ve been impressed with their excellence in hardware design, development and manufacturing.
“With our unparalleled expertise in mobile security and software and TCL Communication’s vast global reach and consumer access, we are confident that BlackBerry-branded products developed and distributed by TCL Communication will address the needs of BlackBerry users and expand the availability of BlackBerry Secure products throughout the world.”