A BlackBerry smartphone. - AFP
BlackBerry smartphones and their iconic keyboards, losing momentum after dominating the market in the early 2000s, could disappear. The Canadian group and the Chinese TCL, which manufactured these apparatuses, indeed announced Monday the end of the production. "We regret to announce that from August 31, 2020, TCL Communication will no longer sell BlackBerry mobile devices," the two companies confirmed.
pic.twitter.com/jhcfVHjVqL- BlackBerry Mobile (@BBMobile) February 3, 2020
TCL will no longer have the rights to design, manufacture and sell these smartphones. BlackBerry, however, did not give details on the future of its mobile phones, which were very popular with companies in the 2000s because they made it possible to easily consult e-mails.
Uninterrupted erosion of sales since late 2012
The arrival in 2007 of the Apple iPhone had caused sales to fall, and BlackBerry is facing an uninterrupted erosion of its sales since the end of 2012, with a market share falling to less than 1%. The Canadian group had already decided in 2016 to abandon the manufacture of telephones to refocus on its core business in software and services.
The agreement with TCL, announced in 2017, provided that BlackBerry retained control of the software and phone security, while TCL produced the devices, abandoning the old BlackBerry OS software. Key2 smartphones, the latest BlackBerry models released in 2018, were still featured on Monday on the group's website.
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