Tag: blackberry android

BlackBerry licensing agreement formed with TCL Communications

The company no longer manufactures its own smartphones but it is selling its name for branded devices.

TCL Communications entered into a BlackBerry licensing agreement to create and manufacture branded mobile devices. BlackBerry CEO John Chen recently said “BlackBerry is no longer just about the smartphone, but the smart in the phone.”

The goal is to continue the production of branded devices in the market without making them, themselves.

Chen assured customers that “when you see our logo it means security, from our class-leading enterprise software to devices secured by BlackBerry software.”

BlackBerry Licensing Agreement - Business PartnershipThis is not the first time BlackBerry has worked with TCL Communications. In fact, it released two different Android-based smartphones in a partnership with that company. The DTEK 50 and DTEK 60 are both devices resulting from collaborations between the two firms. TCL Communications also manufactures Alcatel-branded smartphones.

The long-term BlackBerry licensing agreement is only the latest in that company’s turnaround strategy.

The partnership is a way for BlackBerry to place some distance between itself and handset manufacturing. The company can turn its focus toward growth as a security software and services company. As a part of this agreement TCL Communications will not only design, manufacture and sell BlackBerry-branded devices. It will also provide customer support for the products they sell.

BlackBerry COO and general manager of mobility solutions, Ralph Pini, said this partnership with TCL Communication is a core move in their strategy. It lets the company put “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.”

According to recent media reports, the DTEK 70 will be the next smartphone launched with the BlackBerry licensing brand agreement. This mobile device will be based on Android – as have been the last few models – and will have a fingerprint sensor. That feature will be uniquely positioned in the spacebar of the distinctive physical keyboard. It will have a 2.0 GHz Qualcomm processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a 4.5 inch display. The rear-facing camera will be 18 megapixels and the front-facing camera will be 8 megapixels.

BlackBerry says it hasn’t given up on BB10 support

The company intends to continue releasing Android based smartphones over 2016 but isn’t dropping its OS.

Even though BlackBerry has been discussing its intentions to continue to release smartphones based on Android throughout 2016 and potentially onward, the company has confirmed that it doesn’t intend to give up on its own operating system, BB10.

The Canadian smartphone manufacturer has said that it remains committed to supporting its own OS.

When BlackBerry’s CEO, John Chen wrote a recent blog post on behalf of the company, he expressed that “At CES 2016, BlackBerry has been busy discussing self-driving cars, global carrier support for Priv and consumer healthcare apps. But as we shift our energies toward all these exciting opportunities, does that mean the BlackBerry 10 operating system is dead? Far from it.”

Still, BlackBerry does intend to continue the successes it has seen by moving toward Android based devices.

Blackberry 10 SupportTherefore, the company plans to keep releasing smartphones based on Google’s mobile operating system, but at the same time it will keep up its commitment to supporting the devices it has already released based on its BB10 OS, such as the Classic and Passport. Chen’s blog post said that the upcoming version of BB10, which will be 10.3.3 will have NIAP compliance certification. This means that the OS will have undergone “the strictest government-grade security tests.”

According to the CEO, the added testing will make it possible for the company to offer an increasingly secure ecosystem for its government customers and others that require the highest possible security levels for their smartphone device users.

Equally, Chen also pointed out that BlackBerry plans to keep up the work it has started on steadily improving its BB10 operating system throughout 2016. This will occur at the same time as it continues the development of smartphones that will be based on Android, following the positive reception that the Priv received upon its release at the end of last year. Within the blog post, Chen expressed that “We’ll share more details about our roadmap when we’re ready.” The company has been taking on some dramatic strategies as it works to claw its way back into solid relevance.