The once-mighty Canadian mobile company announced that it has entered into a long-term licensing agreement with TCL Communications Holding Ltd. The deal expands on the existing relationship the companies developed which led to the creation of the Android OS-powered DTEK50 and DTEK60 handsets.
Under the terms of the deal, the Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry will continue to control and develop its security and software solutions. It will also continue to serve is customers and maintain BlackBerry security software.
BlackBerry will license its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets to TCL Communication.
TCL Communications will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices. The company will also manage all sales and distribution and serve as a global distributor of new BlackBerry-branded mobile devices along with dedicated sales teams.
By working with TCL Communication, BlackBerry is “ensuring its branded devices will be available around the world,” according to BlackBerry.
TCL Communications is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. It is a wholly owned company of TCL Corporation, a global consumer electronics brand based in Guangdong, China with products currently sold in over 160 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Its mobile handset portfolio includes devices from Alcatel and Blackberry.
TCL Communications hopes to hope to benefit from BlackBerry’s software platform and its presence in the enterprise market.
“Together with BlackBerry’s smartphone software platform, this partnership will strengthen our position in the global mobile market,” said Nicolas Zibell, CEO of TCL Communication.
The vast global reach and consumer access of TCL Communications are seen by BlackBerry as a boon for the distribution of its branded products.
TCT is currently the fourth largest handset manufacturer in North America and top 10 globally, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The company also operates nine R&D centers worldwide and employs over 13,500 people globally.
“TCL Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry’s software and brand on a global scale,” according to Ralph Pini, chief operating officer and general manager of mobility solutions at BlackBerry. “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.”
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