TCL and Bllackberry have entered into a "long-term" licensing agreement, providing acceleration to BlackBerry's transition into a security software and services company.
Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry will license its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets to TCL Communication who will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices. BlackBerry will continue to control and develop its security and software solutions, serve its customers and maintain 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 on Android.
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.
BlackBerry is betting its future on the more profitable business of making software and managing mobile devices after largely ceding the smartphone market to rivals such as Appleand Samsung Electronics.
BlackBerry in September signed a deal giving Indonesia's BB Merah Putih the rights to make and sell new devices in that country, its largest handset market.