Last September, the once lauded handset manufacturer BlackBerry Limited confirmed it will no longer be building its own mobile devices, outsourcing all of its internal hardware efforts to third-party phone-makers like China’s TCL Corporation.
The Canadian company eventually announced it had finalized its partnership with TCL in December, handing over the global rights to the BlackBerry name to the Chinese manufacturer – and it seems TCL isn’t wasting any time to put the brand to use.
Today, TCL President Steve Cistulli teased a brief preview of the long-awaited BlackBerry Mercury device. Slated to launch at CES, the handset will sport a physical keyboard and will be entirely designed, built and overseen by the Chinese corporation.
— Steve Cistulli (@SteveCistulli) January 3, 2017
Rumors have it the upcoming keyboard-equipped Mercury will pack a 4.63-inch display, featuring an unusual 1620×1080 resolution with a pixel density of 420 ppi. Among other things, the smartphone is also expected to sport a Snapdragon processor, 3GB of RAM as well as 32GB of internal storage.
The Mercury won’t be the first BlackBerry device TCL put together. The Alcatel-maker previously designed the Android-powered DTEK50 and DTEK60, the former of which closely resembled the Alcatel Idol 4.
Over the last few years, BlackBerry has found salvation in its burgeoning software business, which boasts recurring customers, solid growth and a spectacular profit margin of 30 percent.
With TCL taking over the hardware production of BlackBerry, the Canadian company has finally completed its transformation into a full-fledged software-maker.