Last week, BlackBerry announced a manufacturing partnership with TCL Communication Ltd., which has now grown to include a new array of devices that will come out at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, next January.
TCL is a Chinese multinational headquartered in Huizhou, Guangdong. They currently produce a wide array of electronics, from home appliances to smartphones. The company also has a real estate and finance division.
This announcement is entirely unexpected, as BlackBerry had stated before they were considering to drop out of the smartphone business altogether. Further details about the design and other traits for the new phones have not surfaced on the internet so far.
TCL Communication says that BlackBerry will “live on”
Steve Cistulli, from TCL North America, said the conglomerate was going to give more details on the upcoming Blackberry smartphones at the CES next year.
BlackBerry’s new handset could be the rumored ‘Mercury,’ a QWERTY phone that appeared in a couple of leaked images two weeks ago. The ‘Mercury’ will allegedly have a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB internal storage.
The deal with TCL will not let Blackberry distribute phones on Asian markets such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Nepal, which could be a huge blow for the company.
Blackberry wants to venture in the automotive industry
The company pledged to focus on software development, which explains why they would drop their smartphone brand.
In 2010, they acquired the QNX system, which gives them a platform to develop smartcar-related software solutions. QNX currently powers the smart features of more 60 million cars around the world, BlackBerry says.
Because of this, it is in the company’s best interest to develop this operating system, which could become the brain of the next generation of self-driving cars. They will do this by opening a new research facility.
John S. Chen, BlackBerry’s current CEO, recently realized this dream along Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Both announced the coming of the BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre on December 19.
BlackBerry will locate the research building in Ottawa. Trudeau later released a statement saying that this venture would put Canada as “the global leader in software and security for connected car and autonomous vehicle development.”
Source: Tech Times