The tech Chinese TCL electronics group of the company will stop manufacturing BlackBerry-branded smartphones this year, the companies said on Monday, that without clarifying whether that will be the end of the line for phones that were once dominant.
At the end of August, TCL will no longer have the rights to design, manufacture or sell BlackBerry smartphones, the Canadian company said in a message shared on Twitter.
“The future is bright for both TCL Communication and BlackBerry Limited, and we hope they continue to support both as we move forward in our respective paths,” the publication said.
While, BlackBerry, based in Canada, licensed its smartphone technology to TCL in 2016 in an effort to revive its fortune in a smartphone market now dominated by Apple and Android phones. BlackBerry did not reveal any plans for the future of its smartphone line that was once dominant.
Furthermore, the Key2 model smartphones presented in 2018 were still being promoted on the BlackBerry website on Monday. TCL introduced Key2 in mid-2018, combining a physical keyboard with a 4.5-inch screen and powered by the Google-backed Android operating system.
BlackBerry’s participation in the global smartphone market has fallen to almost zero since it dominated the market with its physical keyboard design a decade ago. The rise of phones with Apple iOS and Android with touch screens and “applications for that” led BlackBerry to leave the market to focus on software and services.
Under its agreement with TCL, BlackBerry maintains software control and security on smartphones, while TCL produced the phones, abandoning the old BlackBerry operating system software. TCL also produces smartphones under the Alcatel brand.