Resurrected BlackBerry handsets from TCL to disappear from the market in August

There won't be a sequel to the BlackBerry Key2. (Source: BlackBerry)
There won't be a sequel to the BlackBerry Key2. (Source: BlackBerry)
Chinese smartphone maker TCL has announced that it will cease making and releasing new BlackBerry handsets come August 31. TCL started licensing the brand in December of 2016 following BlackBerry’s exit from the smartphone market in September the same year.
Sanjiv Sathiah,

For anyone that still cared about being able to buy a BlackBerry branded handset, we have some sad news. TCL, the only major BlackBerry smartphone licensee has announced that it will cease production of any new BlackBerry branded smartphones from August 31. Although sales performance was probably underwhelming, the company simply states that the date is when its licensing agreement comes to an end. Had it been the hit it was looking for, undoubtedly TCL would have looked to extend the agreement.

This will mark the second major occasion where BlackBerry smartphones have ceased to be produced. BlackBerry announced back in September of 2016 that it would cease manufacturing and releasing its handsets but would instead license the brand to other OEMs. TCL was one the only one of a couple of eventual licensees that had permission to sell its BlackBerry-branded devices globally. Devices that it sold included the BlackBerry KEYOne and its sequel the KEY2, both of which featured hardware-based QWERTY keyboards but ran Android.

BlackBerry (formerly RIM) once held over a 50 percent share of the smartphone market its peak. Its fall was precipitous as it failed to develop a viable response to the rise of Apple’s iPhone and Android. The company was caught completely off-guard by the iPhone launch in 2007 and thought, initially, that Steve Jobs had to be bluffing about its capabilities. One RIM employee later wrote that the company thought a device like the iPhone was at least five years away but were shocked when they saw its internals, populated as they were by a tiny motherboard and huge (comparatively) battery.

(Source: BlackBerry Mobile via Twitter)
(Source: BlackBerry Mobile via Twitter)
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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senor Staff Writer - 1193 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN/Electronista, and now NotebookCheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to site and its readership.
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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-02- 4 (Update: 2020-02- 5)