The final nail may have been driven into BlackBerry’s coffin

Another one bites the dust.

Credit: Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Yes, you can still walk into a store and buy a BlackBerry in 2020, but those days may soon be over given a recent announcement from BlackBerry phone maker TCL.

TCL says that as of August 31, 2020, it “will no longer be selling BlackBerry-branded mobile devices … (and) has no further rights to design, manufacture or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices.” That’s pretty much a death blow to the company’s slim hopes of mounting a revival.

If you own a BlackBerry KeyOne or Key2, TCL says it will continue to provide support for phones through August 2022, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for an Android 10 update anytime soon.

Granted, TCL’s investment in BlackBerry was always an uphill struggle. When it announced it was licensing the brand back in December 2016, it was met with an equal mix of quizzical stares and snickers, as BlackBerry’s heyday was long in the rearview mirror. The launch of the iPhone and the proliferation of Android handsets made the hardware keyboard seem quaint and antiquated, and the mere thought of trying to use one again made our thumbs hurt.

But nonetheless, TCL persisted, and to be honest, we didn’t hate the BlackBerry Key2. But in a world of six-inch screens and powerful cameras, BlackBerry's vision was a tough sell to anyone but a hopeless nostalgic. Even the once-popular BlackBerry Messenger service called it quits in May.

So it’s not at all surprising that TCL has opted not to renew its BlackBerry license. Any BlackBerry phone is destined to be a niche product, and as Android phones pick up more cameras and pixels, that niche seems to be ever-shrinking. So pour one out for BlackBerry and the physical keyboard, both of which will likely never be seen again.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Michael Simon

Michael Simon

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?