It’s not exactly the most shocking news of the year to find out Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL has signed a licensing agreement with BlackBerry that will see the former design and produce phones for the latter.
TCL, who designed the DTEK50 and DTEK60, will be able to produce, market, and sell BlackBerry branded phones, as well as provide customer service. What remains of BlackBerry Limited will assist in software and services.
There are a few exceptions though. The deal isn’t valid in India and Indonesia, where BlackBerry has agreements with local manufacturers, and there’s still a lot of enthusiasm for the BlackBerry brand. It also doesn’t cover Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
BlackBerry announced a joint venture with Indonesian company PT Tiphone Mobile in September that allows the firm to license BlackBerry software and services for the production of handsets for the Indonesian market.
2016 hasn’t been the best year for BlackBerry. WhatsApp, Facebook, and PayPal all announced that they were dropping support for its BBOS and BlackBerry 10 Operating systems. This was shortly followed by President Obama’s announcement that he had changed his BlackBerry for an unnamed smartphone.
The company’s move to Android didn’t prove hugely successful, either. The Priv, its first Android device, was given a price cut in April due to its low sales. TCL has confirmed, however, that its future BlackBerry phones will run Android.