2019 saw the end of the once popular BlackBerry Messenger service but now it looks like BlackBerry phones may also be phased out very soon.
TCL – the Chinese firm responsible for manufacturing and selling BlackBerry handsets – has announced it will stop selling BlackBerry phones from the end of August this year.
Posting a joint statement on Twitter, the two companies confirmed “as of August 31, 2020, TCL Communication will no longer be selling BlackBerry-branded mobile devices”.
The statement goes on to say: ”TCL Communication has no further rights to design, manufacture or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices, however TCL Communication will continue to provide support for the existing portfolio of mobile devices including customer service and warranty service until August 31, 2022 – or for as long as required by local laws where the mobile device was purchased.
“The future is bright for both TCL Communication and BlackBerry Limited, and we hope you’ll continue to support both as we move ahead on our respective paths.”
BlackBerry phones, with their popular BlackBerry Messenger service and sleek keyboards, were market leaders around a decade ago but in recent years, the company failed to compete with the ever-growing popularity of iPhones and Android. The company has since ventured into cyber-security and other areas in the tech industry.
In 2016, BlackBerry ended its in-house development of its phones, striking a deal with TCL but now it looks like the two companies have decided to part ways.
At present, it hasn’t been stated whether BlackBerry will enter another deal with a manufacturing firm for its phones but speculation is that the company may stop the production of its handsets altogether.