Despite previous (and failed) attempts to revive the brand, TCL (yes, that company that makes TVs) thinks it can be the one that can restore it to its former shining glory. The Chinese manufacturer has announced at that it will be creating a new BlackBerry-branded smartphone that will see the return of the keyboard.
And yes, you read that right. BlackBerry-branded. Last year, BlackBerry (the company) and TCL signed a licensing agreement that would allow TCL to create phones with the BlackBerry brand. They previously worked together on two other smartphones for developing markets.
While the phone has not been given a name, TCL is trying to hype this phone up before Mobile World Congress. It makes sense to do so at CES and not Mobile World Congress, otherwise it will be lost in the sea of other phone announcements from, well, every other phone manufacturer out there.
Like BlackBerry (the company) beforehand, TCL is emphasising security as its main point of difference. “It draws on unparalleled mobile security and software expertise to offer the most complete security available for an Android smartphone,” the company’s press release states.
We’ll have to wait and see about that.
The company hasn’t released many specs about the device, other than it will have “the world’s most advanced intelligent keyboard” and will run on Android. But I guess we’ll find out more when Mobile World Congress starts next month.