TCL, the owner of the Alcatel, has forged an exclusive partnership with BlackBerry that makes them the exclusive manufacturing partner for the Canadian brand for the majority of territories around the world.
A few months ago BlackBerry announced that they would no longer design nor create new hardware in-house, relegating that costly task to hardware partners instead. The release of the DTEK line of smartphones (basically Alcatel Idol 4S with BlackBerry’s software tweaks) was a dry run of sorts for the company which turned out fairly well.
That’s pretty much what you’ll be seeing with the brand as far as smartphones are concerned moving forward. TCL (specifically, Alcatel) will be designing and manufacturing the phones, while BlackBerry will handle the software side of things. Just as well – BlackBerry’s core business is software and security, while TCL (through Alcatel) makes pretty solid phones overall.
Interestingly the deal does not apply to several markets, which include India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.