TCL, which manufactures smartphones under the BlackBerry brand, is planning to launch at least two more smartphones by the end of the year. This will bring the total number of BlackBerry smartphones launched this year, to three phones. In an interview with Nicolas Zibell from TCL, the company is currently working on a new touchscreen smartphone, which will likely be the successor to the BlackBerry DTEK 50, and DTEK 60, both of which were launched last year. On top of that, these devices will not be sporting a physical QWERTY keyboard.
The DTEK branding found on the predecessors, will likely be scrapped for the two upcoming smartphones from BlackBerry. Before TCL agreed to manufacture smartphones for BlackBerry, the iconic BlackBerry brand was going downhill. This was due to the quick growth of the smartphone market, which BlackBerry was unable to respond to, and rolled out devices at a very slow rate. It then released its first Android powered smartphone back in 2015, but it received lackluster support from consumers, as the device was priced too high, and offered too little in terms of specs to consumers. TCL then reached an agreement with the company to manufacture smartphones under the BlackBerry name, and the first device from TCL came in the form of the DTEK 50, which was a mid-range device. Soon after that, it launched the DTEK 60, a more premium device.
At MWC 2017, BlackBerry launched its latest device, the KEYone. Just like the two previous smartphones from the brand, the KEYOne is manufactured by Chinese electronics manufacturer, TCL. The device also runs on Android, and what sets it apart from other Android smartphones in the market, is the inclusion of a physical QWERTY keyboard just below the touchscreen. However, TCL doesn't plan on just manufacturing smartphones for BlackBerry, as it too, wants to launch smartphones under the TCL brand, which it has already been doing for a while now in its home country of China, with the latest handset being the TCL 950. TCL also happens to manufacture smartphones under its sub-brand, which happens to be Alcatel, a brand which is widely known for mid-range handsets that are sold at reasonable prices.