If you were lucky enough to be part of the great generation that owned a BlackBerry and got to leverage the one-time wonder that was the BlackBerry Internet Service and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) here in South Africa, you probably had either a love or hate relationship with your Curve, Bold, or Torch.
A select few of us, moving forward, perhaps had less polarizing experiences with the likes of the BlackBerry Priv, or the endless number of Alcatel (TCL Communication) reshoots that the two companies produced under the Android flag.
Now, going forward, that sun might set once and for all as Alcatel (which up until today has produced and manufactured BlackBerry-badge designs in largely Asian markets) has announced that it might altogether stop its manufacturing efforts this year.
In a statement to the press, the French giant tersely quipped that “TCL Communication has no further rights to design, manufacture, or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices”.
Unless BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion) has a contingency, the news will spell what’s likely another end for the famous marque, having fallen from grace several years ago when it eschewed its own BlackBerry 10 OS in favour of Android.
The company tried (unsuccessfully) to rechristen itself as a security and productivity enterprise, having launched several of its Android apps, services, and frameworks in a subscription bundle.
Unsurprisingly, no one seemed to care – and now the once-mighty conqueror has fallen silent.
The firm will likely issue a final statement within the coming days – it’s CEO, John Chen, has previously outright stated that should the firm fail to meet product and shipping expectations, it will prepare to write off its hardware line – that’s largely been the case under TCL Communications, though it seems the final nail in the coffin is near.
What are your thoughts? Will you miss the BlackBerry brand? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below.