Our BlackBerry Partnership Won’t End Like Microsoft-Nokia Disaster: TCL


The BlackBerry and TCL partnership is a “fundamentally different” situation than the Microsoft/Nokia one, according to Nicolas Zibell, chief executive officer of TCL Communications, the company bringing the next BlackBerry devices to the world. At CES 2017, he told TechRadar that the new partnership would not suffer from the same issues that Microsoft and Nokia’s venture did.

What was the main issue with the Microsoft/Nokia deal?

Because of the sales under its Alcatel One Touch brand, the China-based smartphone maker is the fourth largest in the world. Also TCL has struck a long-term deal with the Waterloo-based company to manufacture smartphones under the BlackBerry brand. At CES, the Chinese company released an all-new BlackBerry device with a distinctly business look and a physical keyboard.

Zibell cited the Windows Phone as the main problem to the failed partnership of Microsoft and Nokia. He said that Microsoft imposed its OS, which was small-scale in terms of apps, users and its ecosystem, on a brand (Nokia) that hadn’t been “successful in the smartphone space.” Until that deal, Nokia had been successful in only first-gen smartphones running on Symbian.

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Zibell added that their deal is very different because they are using Android as a pure experience, and they do not make compromises on the app store. Further, he said that they are releasing unique hardware innovations and security solutions. TCL CEO is hoping that the licensing deal with the Canadian firm will create cost-efficiency and not risk for both the companies.

BlackBerry Mercury wins praises

Only after BlackBerry’s new device hits the market will it be clear how hungry the market is for a device with a QWERTY keypad. The device has won praise at CES. Although the conference is over, one product that continues to appear on the list of visitors is the device that TCL offered a sneak peek of at the show, the BlackBerry Mercury, notes CrackBerry.

In a blog post, Ralph Pini, CEO and general manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry, underlined the attention that the smartphone received at the show. The Mercury was not the only BlackBerry phone to steal some awards; the DETEK50 did quite amazing as well and took the Innovation Award.

In his post, Pini said, “The reception to Mercury was strong. The publications Android Central, Phone Scoop and Android Police all gave BlackBerry Mercury ‘Best of CES’ awards. TechCrunch praised its ‘solid feel coupled with a modernized version of the iconic BlackBerry design.'”

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