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We Remain Cautious about TCL-BlackBerry Alliance

by Linda Sui | Jan 05, 2017

At CES 2017, TCL-Alcatel outlined its smartphone strategy. Working with BlackBerry to launch more BlackBerry branded Android smartphones is the bright spot. Indeed, the two firms have teamed up and launched two Android devices in 2016 - DTEK 50 and DTEK 60. TCL-Alcatel hopes to leverage BlackBerry brand to enhance presence in high end segments and enterprise market.

However, we would caution TCL-Alcatel about the alliance:

1. BlackBerry brand is fading quickly in consumer segment;
2. The competition in enterprise market is getting intensified mainly from Apple, Samsung and other small vendors / specialists;
3. BlackBerry has chosen different local partners in India, Indonesia and other selected countries where TCL-Alcatel manufactured BlackBerry smartphones have been blocked;
4. Modest volumes from BlackBerry branded smartphones would NOT help TCL-Alcatel to back into black this year. The company kept losing money on smartphone business in 2016.

Hence, we would recommend the Chinese vendor to further differentiate own branded Android devices in mass market by providing innovative features / premium feel under affordable prices in 2017.

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