BlackBerry has reached a "long-term" deal with TCL - owner of the Alcatel smartphone brand - which will see the BlackBerry name and software licensed to the Chinese manufacturer for future devices.
TCL will design and build phones, and BlackBerry will chip in with its security-focused version of the Android operating system. TCL and BlackBerry have already collaborated on two smartphones, the DTEK50 and DTEK60. Both are rebadged versions of existing Alcatel smartphones (the Idol 4, and Idol 4S, respectively).
"TCL Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry's software and brand on a global scale," said BlackBerry COO said Ralph Pini. "We successfully partnered with them on the DTEK series of secure smartphones and we've been impressed with their excellence in hardware design, development and manufacturing."
"With our unparalleled expertise in mobile security and software and TCL Communication's vast global reach and consumer access, we are confident that BlackBerry-branded products developed and distributed by TCL Communication will address the needs of BlackBerry users and expand the availability of BlackBerry Secure products throughout the world."
The news follows BlackBerry's decision to bow out of the smartphone manufacturing game, with the company announcing it will no longer make its own hardware earlier this year. The BlackBerry Priv - BlackBerry's first Android smartphone - was the last device the company designed and manufactured in house.