BlackBerry announced a licensing agreement with device maker TCL Communication, as part of its strategy to move away from the smartphone space.
TCL will licence the Canadian company’s security software and service suite, as well as brand assets. The China-based vendor will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.
The deal is hardly a surprise: BlackBerry already worked with TCL to bring its Dtek50 and Dtek60 devices to market. The Chinese company will be the exclusive BlackBerry manufacturer and distributor for all markets except India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
BlackBerry previously announced moves for the Indonesian market.
Ralph Pini, COO and GM of mobility solutions at BlackBerry, said: “This agreement with TCL Communication represents a key step in our strategy to focus on putting the ‘smart in the phone’ by providing state-of-the-art security and device software on a platform that mobile users prefer and are comfortable with.”
After a long period of struggles with its hardware business, BlackBerry announced in September 2016 that it would end its own internal development in favour of a licensing model.