TCL, the parent company behind smartphone brands like Alcatel, announced that it's officially entered into a long-term licensing agreement with BlackBerry. BlackBerry will license its security software and apps like the BlackBerry Hub, while TCL will continue to handle the design, manufacturing, and retail component of BlackBerry's smartphone business.

Here's the statement from Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officers and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry:

"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...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."

The agreement is a smart move for the Canadian company, as it's still attempting to pave its way in the new smartphone climate. TCL and BlackBerry can work together on a mutually beneficial strategy. Perhaps the first part of that strategy should be reconsidering the marketing prowess of a name like "DTEK" for a smartphone.