TCL isn’t wasting any time getting into the BlackBerry business. A week ago today, the Acatel manufacturer announced that it was officially becoming the major global partner for BlackBerry (excluding India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia – some of the company’s top markets) and now it’s getting ready to show off the fruits of the deal.
No shocker here, but the company is planning to reveal multiple smartphones carrying the BlackBerry branding in the near future – quite possibly at CES in a couple of weeks, where the company will “unveil more news at CES around our plans, showcasing the legacy of the BlackBerry smartphone brand, while also giving a glimpse into what new BlackBerry smartphones will offer.”
The deal signed a week back gives TCL the semi-exclusive rights to build and distribute BlackBerry devices as the Canadian former handset maker continues to withdraw from hardware and shift its focus to software and security. TCL already has a head start on that front, of course, having created BlackBerry’s final two hardware offerings, the DTEK 50 and 60.
The company is couching the news as part of its planned evolution from “the number four handset manufacturer in North America to a tier one portfolio brand,” an update that apparently involves a lot of BlackBerry branding, in a deal that echoes HMD’s forthcoming Nokia-branded smartphones.