KEY POINTS

  • BlackBerry is about to lose its major partner this 2020
  • TCL Communication will not be helping the company to make smartphones anymore
  • BlackBerry is on its last legs as it heavily pales in performance and sales compared to its rivals

TCL Communication has recently released an official statement about the deadline of its partnership with BlackBerry Limited. However, TCL has been BlackBerry’s largest partner in producing its smartphones in the past decade. BlackBerry could be on its last legs in the new decade once the partnership is concluded.

On BlackBerry’s official Twitter page, it was announced that TCL and BlackBerry’s split comes down to its partnership deal ending on Aug. 31. On this date, TCL Communication will not be able to design, make, smartphones devices for BlackBerry anymore as their rights will have expired. The whole situation has been explained in a two-paragraph post, with BlackBerry thanking all who’ve worked with the company.

However, TCL Communication confirmed that it’ll still provide customer service and warranty for BlackBerry phones until Aug. 31, 2022 or up until dates required by the legal laws of specific countries. For now, TCL will still be somewhat connected to BlackBerry but will not be included in projects anymore.

BlackBerry also mentioned four smartphones that it has worked with TCL on. These devices were KEYone, Motion, KEY2 and KEY2 LE, which were devices released in the latter half of the past decade. While BlackBerry was proud of its achievements, many reviewers and consumers were disappointed with the quality of these devices as they paled in comparison to the rest of the competition.

BlackBerry was one of the pioneers of mobile phones with smarter features in the late 2000s, but it has fallen short in the smartphone competition. The company’s popularity with high-profile businessmen and political figures stemmed mainly from its built-in direct messaging app between BlackBerry users and its keyboard buttons.

However, many new features and apps on the leading smartphones nowadays already boast these, plus a variety of choices. Currently, BlackBerry isn’t looking good, with the lackluster releases and its major partner’s departure later this year.

With TCL gone, BlackBerry still has other partners to work with, but they’re not as large as TCL Communication. Potentially, the company could be on its last legs as it has yet to show any new devices with innovative features and is far from competing against the top smartphone companies, namely Huawei, Apple and Samsung.

For now, we’ll have to wait and see if BlackBerry will put out a new smartphone this year or go quietly and be gone for good.

BlackBerry, the Canadian group that led the smartphone market a decade ago, outsourced its handset business to Chinese electronics group TCL, which made the Key2 seen here in 2019 BlackBerry, the Canadian group that led the smartphone market a decade ago, outsourced its handset business to Chinese electronics group TCL, which made the Key2 seen here in 2019 Photo: AFP / Josep LAGO