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BlackBerry Announces Global Licensing Agreement With TCL Communication

BlackBerry BBRY Announces Global Licensing Agreement With TCL Communication

Shares of BlackBerry Ltd BBRY 1.3% bounced off its intra-day low of $7.56 on Thursday after the company announced a new long-term licensing agreement.

BlackBerry said that it reached an agreement with TCL Communication Technology Holdings in which BlackBerry will license its security software and service suite and related brand assets to TCL Communication. In return, TCL will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry's mobile devices.

BlackBerry will continue controlling and developing its security and software solutions, as well as serving its customers while also maintaining its security software. TCL will also manage on its end all sales and distributions and act as a global distributor of new BlackBerry devices.

BlackBerry's announcement is consistent with its strategy of transitioning itself to better focus on software amid a steep decline in revenue from its hardware unit. The announcement also comes just days ahead of the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings report.

"This agreement with TCL Communication represents a key step in our strategy to focus on putting the 'smart in the phone' by providing state-of-the-art security and device software on a platform that mobile users prefer and are comfortable with," said Ralph Pini, chief operating officer and general manager of mobility solutions at BlackBerry.

"TCL Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry's software and brand on a global scale. We successfully partnered with them on the DTEK series of secure smartphones and we've been impressed with their excellence in hardware design, development and manufacturing.

"With our unparalleled expertise in mobile security and software and TCL Communication's vast global reach and consumer access, we are confident that BlackBerry-branded products developed and distributed by TCL Communication will address the needs of BlackBerry users and expand the availability of BlackBerry Secure products throughout the world," he concluded.

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