BlackBerry Ltd is rumored to be building an Android-powered smartphone, potentially dubbed the DTEK70. This device is expected to be the last BlackBerry’s smartphone developed completely in-house as the Canadian tech giant moves from hardware to software and security business.
The company has decided to stop making smartphones and focus on security software and services. The Canadian tech giant plans recently inked a deal with Ford Motor to expand use of its QNX automotive software in the automaker’s vehicles. The tech giant wants to conquer several new markets including car software, healthcare and medical technology.
The Canadian tech giant has sold the rights to “design, manufacture, sell, and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices” to Chinese company TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited.
So, it seems that the BlackBerry brand is dead now. Under the agreement, TCL will design and manufacture smartphones with BlackBerry on them. But plastering Chromebooks with Apple logos doesn’t make them Mac, according to a report from Makeuseof.com.
“BlackBerry the company is alive and well and managing just fine. But BlackBerry the brand is deader than a dead thing which died mourning the demise of the dodo. Or something,” writes Dave Parrack of Makeuseof.com.
Chinese Firm Buying BlackBerry Brand
Last week, BlackBerry Ltd signed a long-term agreement with TCL to license its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets.
Under the terms of the agreement, TCL will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.
In a statement on Dec. 15, the tech giant said it will focus on developing security and software solutions, while TCL will manage sales and distribution. The Chinese company will be a global distributor of new BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.
TCL will be the exclusive global manufacturer and distributor for all BlackBerry-branded smartphones in all countries except India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
The company is building the DTEK70 featuring a QWERTY keyboard, show images appeared on the Chinese social network Weibo. The company is expected to launch the DTEK70 sometime in the first quarter of 2017. We can expect the phone, which would get a price tag of $350, to arrive between January and March next year.
Wall Street and BBRY
BlackBerry Ltd has a market cap of 3.99B billion. Shares of the company are down over 18% for the year. However, the stock has gained 8.13% during the last six months. On Friday, the stock closed down 0.66% at $7.58.
Recently, Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha assigned a $6 price on BBRY stock and reiterated an ‘underperform’ rating. The analyst called the company a software business, which is not worth $4 billion. In a research note, Garcha said the Canadian tech giant will fully shut down its hardware business.
Investors and analysts are looking for the company’s third quarter earnings report scheduled for before the market opens on Tuesday, December 20. Wall Street expects the company to report a loss of $0.04 per share for the quarter, versus a per share loss of $0.06 for the same quarter last year.