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January 6, 2017

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TCL aims to revive Blackberry smartphones

CHINESE electronics company TCL Corporation was at CES on Wednesday with a plan to revive BlackBerry handsets knocked from the mobile phone throne by Apple and Google.

TCL is putting its market clout behind the design, manufacture and marketing of a new portfolio of BlackBerry smartphones, trusting that its solid position in the market will renew faith in the brand.

“What sells a product is confidence in your underlying capabilities and that there is a future,” said Steve Cistulli, general manager for TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited of North America.

He noted the success TCL has been building its Alcatel brand and expressed optimism the company could put the brakes on BlackBerry’s downward slide this year.

BlackBerry in Canada will remain in control of software and security on smartphones, while TCL will handle creating handsets powered by Google Android software, according to company executives who provided a glimpse at the coming model.

“The final compilation of software is controlled by BlackBerry,” said TCL research and development head Alain Lejeune, who was credited as the architect of the deal with BlackBerry.

“We want to keep it that way on the security side. The fact that the last mile is coming from Canada, which is outside of China, is a strong value for us.”

Behind closed doors at a suite in a Las Vegas hotel, TCL provided a glimpse at a new BlackBerry smartphone that will be the first brought to market under the alliance.



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