Looks like BlackBerry is about to die, again. The smartphone brand that gave up manufacturing its own handsets and tied up with the manufacturer TCL Communications back in 2016, may have to revive its license with the Chinese manufacturer to keep itself alive in the market. The news came directly from BlackBerry in a tweet, mentioning that TCL won't be selling BlackBerry-branded smartphones starting August 31, 2020 since it doesn't have the rights to design and manufacture them. However, the smartphones that already exist, will continue to be supported.
For those unversed, TCL also makes its own branded smartphones along with Alcatel and Palm handsets. Earlier this year, it announced the TCL 10 Pro, TCL 10L, and TCL 10 5G and even teased a foldable phone, which for now seems far from reaching the hands of end users.
Ultimately, we don't know enough about the Mercury to say with certainty if it is the phone that fans deserve, but the prototype is definitely good-looking enough to rouse my curiosity. BlackBerry's well-received security software continues to help it earn a place in corporate executives' pockets and bags, and the Mercury will likely continue to appeal to that crowd. TCL says it will have more information to share in the days leading up to Mobile World Congress in February, so we'll have to wait until then to see if the rest of the specs add to or subtract from the Mercury's overall value.
With TCL giving up BlackBerry production, it's possible that BlackBerry might disappear from the market until another manufacturing company takes over. While BalckBerry does have other partners to manufacture its smartphones, the relation between them is much more limited as the production and licensing is limited to certain regions only. Other than this, only TCL had the rights for all regions. 2b1af7f3a8