11 February 2021
There was a time when BlackBerry was a force to reckon with in the mobile phone market but with the rise of Android and iOS devices, it started to struggle even for existence. TCL tried to be its savior by acquiring licensing rights and releasing mid-range Android phones using its brand name in 2018 but 2019 has remained a silent year for the most part. And now for those who were waiting for a BlackBerry 5G phone, there is some bad news.
Stefan Streit, General Manager of Marketing at TCL, has told Pocket-Lint that TCL has no interest in releasing a BlackBerry 5G phone. He made this statement on the sidelines of the CCS Insight Predictions event in London. The reason behind the decision does seem to be reasonable enough.
As per Streit,
"I don't see the point of 5G on a BlackBerry. It's not an entertainment device and you can already get your email really fast."
It should be noted that this statement does not mean that TCL is not working on 5G at all. It is just that the company believes that it should make use of 5G in those sectors/products where it will be more useful. Streit gave examples of an 8K smart TV and a fridge as possible implementations of 5G from TCL. As far as smartphones are concerned, it wants to offer 5G devices in 2020 but those will be released under TCL's own brand name and maybe even under Alcatel branding.
TCL is further set to launch a new mid-range Android smartphone by mid-2020. It is expected to cost somewhere between $500 and $600. It has not been revealed whether this new device will be released as a TCL or Alcatel phone. The TCL Plex has been the most recent smartphone launch from the brand which was unveiled at IFA 2019. It is the first TCL-branded smartphone to get official outside China.