BlackBerry and TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited have entered a long-term licensing agreement to drive BlackBerry's transition into a security software and services company.
The agreement will see BlackBerry license its security software and service suite to TCL Communication, who will then design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry banked mobile devices.
Ralph Pini, chief operating officer and general manager 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."
BlackBerry recently unveiled that it is transitioning its handheld devices strategy to focus on software innovation to provide the most secure and comprehensive devices. This agreement is BlackBerry's first global licensing agreement and expands on its existing relationship with TCL Communication, which led to the introduction of the DTEK50 and DTEK60 handsets on Android.
Pini added: "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.