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The difference between BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile

As we move into the month of CrackBerry's 10-year anniversary, and the return of CrackBerry Kevin, we thought it was important to highlight a few key differences between the BlackBerry we knew and the one we're likely going to continue writing about.

From CrackBerry:

Late last year, BlackBerry signed a software and brand licensing deal with TCL granting them the rights to design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices. Additionally, TCL is managing all sales and distribution and will serve as a global distributor of new BlackBerry-branded mobile devices along with their dedicated sales teams. Effectively, this means TCL is designing, building and marketing BlackBerry Smartphones for themselves, not for BlackBerry. BlackBerry is supporting TCL in this partnership, but TCL is now driving the Android-powered BlackBerry Smartphone train in almost all markets globally.

This helps distinguish BlackBerry the software company — yes, the one that still builds secure Android versions and various Android apps in addition to mobile device management solutions across multiple platforms — from the TCL-owned BlackBerry Mobile, which builds the actual phone hardware.

Again, from CrackBerry:

When it comes to Mercury, the accurate statement would be to say that BlackBerry Mobile is officially unveiling the BlackBerry Mercury at Mobile World Congress on February 25th. It would be incorrect to say that BlackBerry is.

From a journalistic perspective, this is an important distinction, because the people we're dealing with at BlackBerry Mobile — owned by TCL — are different from those at BlackBerry proper. But for you, the user, it's also important, since BlackBerry Mobile now controls the facilities for building BlackBerry hardware, and the two companies will work together on software updates. While it's not clear at this point whether BlackBerry itself will control the bulk of the software update or if that will be under the purview of BB Mobile, the companies have assured us that the BlackBerry proper will have final say over the digital signature of each build, ensuring the high mark of security is maintained on all future devices.

It's important for the user to know the difference, since BlackBerry Mobile now controls the facilities for building BlackBerry hardware, and the two companies will work together on software updates.

BlackBerry 'Mercury' will be a test of that new relationship; BlackBerry itself has, for a number of years now, distanced itself from the actual production of its smartphones, but now that responsibility is entirely out of its hands. TCL, the company that has turned Alcatel (formerly Alcatel OneTouch) into a reputable hardware vendor across the world, knows what it's doing, and based on the devices we've used — the DTEK50 and DTEK60 — and ones we're about to — 'Mercury' — we're pretty confident things are only going to get better for the BlackBerry hardware brand in 2017 and beyond.

Cleaning up the Confusion: What you need to know about BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

23 Comments
  • Hopefully they do well. I was pleasantly surprised by the Priv
  • I really like the DTEK60, If I get the change of buying it with a little discount, I will absolutely do it
  • Yeah there's a difference but in the end everyone will just write Blackberry. Just like no one ever said "Motorola Mobility released x".
    And Motorola Mobility (the phones) and Motorola Solutions were not the same.
  • Don't care lol just being more phones out!
  • That's a very good and important clarification. I studied at the University of Waterloo in the 90's and walked past the original Research in Motion buildings every day. I remember when they were the co-op jobs everyone wanted, and have quite a few friends who still work there. And without a doubt, their biggest blind spot has always been marketing. RIM rose to the top of the phone market so quickly that they didn't grasp the importance of strategic marketing and advertising. When they did try, their efforts were misguided, wasteful, and arrogant: things like hiring Alicia Keys into a celebrity role, naming their first Android phone the Priv, and then pricing that phone like it was an Apple or Samsung flagship. They wasted a lot of good devices with terrible marketing and unrealistic pricing strategies, and it would be hard for TCL to not improve in this regard. If the Mercury is priced competitively, I'm definitely interested in Blackberry Mobile.
  • All we can do is wait and hope the"Mercury" is a competitive smartphone.
  • The biggest downfall of blackberry was Jim's narrowminded vison of wanting another NHL team in Ontario. That was the beginning of the end. He was hyperfocused on that, and nothing but that and blackberry suffered and never recovered.
  • Daniel,
    Thanks for some positive BlackBerry coverage. Always so much misunderstanding and confusion around BB. And sometimes, just hate. Glad things are starting to clear up ☝.
  • As long as they have the quality feel and durability of BB's past, I'm onboard for this thing.
  • RIP blackberry, just die Already. You're a pain. -**** retardus, 2/2/2017
  • This stupid website blocked the word **** thinking I meant homosexual, while in reality I meant **** as in "**** sapiens". Apparently a word that is Greek for same and is used on many things is censored because it might be taken out of context and might offend some. (Whose feelings merit a censorship of everything that said particular word is attached too, regardless if it means genus, biological procedure, or investigation quality) Plato and Aristotle would be ashamed.
  • Homosapiens
  • Homosapiens
  • It has to be one word hence "Homosapiens" not "**** Sapiens"
  • L o l. Has BlackBerry harmed you in some way..?
  • You are the pain, could you please tell me why did you said that? Because I've always believed that the more options we had, the best opportunity you have to have the phone you want.
    I was a BlackBerry 10 user and still think bb10 is by far the best os.. that died because of bad marketing and timing and I hope nothing but the best for a company I respect a lot.
  • For all 12 people who still care about Blackberry.
  • Another stupid reply.. So much hate... meh
  • U
  • 13 people. Get it right.
  • Fee free to join the 12 of us at the next meeting....just like the dark side.....we have cookies.
  • I AM .....Legend
  • Good article... I am still a big Blackberry supporter. I just think to most people the brand means nothing. I am not so sure the people will come back. Once people have moved on they are pretty happy with what they are currently using. Sad to admit but the facts.