Folks have been predicting the end of BlackBerry for a very long, long time. And, when the company announced that it would cease manufacturing its own hardware in 2016, it seemed the end was nigh. Now, finally, the end is in sight for BlackBerry as a smartphone brand.
The end of an era
An announcement, via Twitter, concerning current hardware-maker TCL Communications’ contract with BlackBerry spells the end for the brand at last. According to the announcement, BlackBerry’s time is up from 31 August 2020, when TCL loses “…rights to design, manufacture, or sell any new BlackBerry Mobile devices.”
The company, however, will support existing handsets until 31 August 2022. So if you’re hanging onto the past, that’s when you’re finally going to make like a Disney princess and let it go.
BlackBerry was once one of the most popular smartphone brands on the planet, a feat that a significant number of current smartphone users may only be dimly aware of. Market share dropped from about 20% of global devices (50% in the States) at its peak to a mere fraction of a percent — an end that was in the cards as far back as 2014.
Of course, this isn’t a definitive end. There’s always the chance the contract is renewed or a new hardware partner is picked up. But since BlackBerry’s market share has been non-existent since 2017, a comeback at this point seems unlikely.
Source: BlackBerry Mobile (Twitter)