TCL Communication has lost its license to design and manufacture Blackberry phones, according to Digital Trends.
In late 2016, BlackBerry stopped making its own phones, in favor of licensing manufacturing rights to other companies. TCL Communication was chosen as the global licensee, manufacturing and marketing phones under the name “BlackBerry Mobile.”
According to a tweet on the official BlackBerry Mobile account, “as of August 31, 2020, TCL Communication will no longer be selling BlackBerry-branded mobile devices. TCL Communication has no further rights to design, manufacture or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices.”
As Digital Trends points out, it’s uncertain what has prompted the move. It’s possible the license simply expired. It’s also possible TCL may want to branch out on its own, using the experience it’s gained manufacturing BlackBerry phones to design and create its own line.
Whatever the reason, it leaves the BlackBerry brand in unknown territory. It remains to be seen if another company will buy up the global license, or if BlackBerry will focus exclusively on software from this point forward.