BlackBerry already announced that it will end all internal hardware development and will outsource it to partners to focus on software development, including security and applications. Today has announced that it has signed a deal with China’s TCL Communication to give it exclusive rights to sell BlackBerry-branded phones in most countries, who had developed the DTEK50 and DTEK60.
Under this deal, BlackBerry will license its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets to TCL Communication who will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.
“BlackBerry will continue to control and develop its security and software solutions, serve its customers and maintain trusted BlackBerry security software, while TCL Communication will manage all sales and distribution and serve as a global distributor of new BlackBerry-branded mobile devices along with dedicated sales teams,” said the company.
BlackBerry said that TCL Communication will be the exclusive global manufacturer and distributor for all BlackBerry-branded smartphones with the exception of the following countries: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Commenting on the deal, Nicolas Zibell, CEO of TCL Communication, said:
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.
Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry, said:
This agreement with TCL Communication represents a key step in our strategy to focus on putting the ‘smart in the phone’ by providing state-of-the-art security and device software on a platform that mobile users prefer and are comfortable with. 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.