Microsoft officially retired Windows 10 Mobile in January (after previously planning to do it in December), and now another iconic company is getting ready to exit the mobile market.
BlackBerry, which has until now survived thanks to a partnership with TCL, announced that this collaboration would end in the summer, technically putting the future of the brand at risk.
While BlackBerry has been very vague about what’s to come after the partnership comes to an end, the company did confirm that TCL would no longer sell its phones going forward.
“We do regret to share however that as of August 31, 2020, TCL Communication will no longer be selling BlackBerry-branded mobile devices. 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, 2020 – or for as long as required by local laws where the mobile device was purchased,” BlackBerry says.
No word on what’s next
The latest phone released by BlackBerry is the KEY2 LE, which launched in 2018, and many people expected the KEY3 to go live sometime this year.
However, since the collaboration with TCL is coming to an end, not only that the chances of seeing a new model launching in 2020 are getting slimmer, but the future of the brand itself is in jeopardy.
BlackBerry hasn’t yet confirmed if it’s looking for a new agreement with another company to build and sell its products, but if it isn’t, then there’s a good chance this is the end of the BlackBerry brand as we know it. Most likely, the firm will then continue to focus on services, an approach that would allow it to remain relevant in the mobile industry without investing in hardware.