TCL Communications, the company that has designed, manufactured, and sold BlackBerry smartphones since 2016 will stop selling BlackBerry’s as of Aug. 31, 2020.
The announcement came from the BlackBerry Mobile Twitter account on Monday morning.
TCL Communications licensed the rights to BlackBerry phones from BlackBerry Limited in Dec. 2016, and has released several Android-powered phones under the brand, including the KEYone and Key2. The devices all use a customized version of Android that implements some of BlackBerry user’s favorite features, like the BlackBerry Hub.
TCL will continue to support existing devices through Aug. 31, 2022, by offering customer and warranty service. The last Android security patch for the Key2 and Key2 LE will be issued in May 2020 and Aug. 2020, respectively. After that, the phones will stop receiving software updates.
It’s unclear if BlackBerry Limited will license the mobile brand to another hardware partner, or if this is the end of a legendary brand that helped kickstart the smartphone industry. Enterprise and consumer users alike all fell in love with the physical BlackBerry keyboard, and who could forget BlackBerry Messenger?
I’ve reached out to BlackBerry for more information and will update this post should I hear back.
If you’re still using a BlackBerry phone, let us know in the comments how today’s announcement makes you feel.