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TCL Communication will now make & sell BlackBerry branded Smartphones

The maker of Alcatel smartphones, TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited have entered into a long-term licensing agreement with BlackBerry Limited which will allow TCL Communication to design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices. Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry will license its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets to TCL Communication.

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BlackBerry said it will continue to control and develop its security and software solutions, serve its customers and maintain its BlackBerry security software, while TCL Communication will manage all sales and distribution and serve as a global distributor of new BlackBerry-branded mobile devices along with dedicated sales teams.

The agreement with TCL Communication is BlackBerry’s first global licensing agreement and expands on its existing relationship, which led to the introduction of the DTEK50 and DTEK60 handsets running on the Android mobile operating system.

“At TCL Communication, we are committed to creating the best portfolio solutions, while ensuring the quality support to consumers and enterprise users who trust the integrity of the BlackBerry device and the brand’s security leadership, coupled with the Android platform,” said Nicolas Zibell, CEO of TCL Communication. “Together with BlackBerry’s smartphone software platform, this partnership will strengthen our position in the global mobile market.”

“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,” said Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. “TCL Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry’s software and brand on a global scale. We successfully partnered with them on the DTEK series of secure smartphones and we’ve been impressed with their excellence in hardware design, development and manufacturing. With our unparalleled expertise in mobile security and software and TCL Communication’s vast global reach and consumer access, we are confident that BlackBerry-branded products developed and distributed by TCL Communication will address the needs of BlackBerry users and expand the availability of BlackBerry Secure products throughout the world.”

TCL Communication will be the exclusive global manufacturer and distributor for all BlackBerry-branded smartphones with the exception of the following countries: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Additional information on the product roadmap and availability of devices will be available in coming months, Blackberry said.

As of Nov. 30, Blackberry’s revenue fell to $289 million from $548 million, missing the average of analyst estimates, while net losses widened to $117 million from $89 million. Software and services revenue rose to $160 million from $155 million a year earlier, while hardware sales dropped to $62 million from $220 million.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2006. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy