TLDR: BlackBerry Mobile was a brand of smartphones that was manufactured and sold by TCL Corporation from 2016 to 2020. It was part of the larger BlackBerry brand, which decided to focus on security software instead of directly competing in the smartphone market.
BlackBerry Mobile was a trading name used by TCL Communication to produce and sell BlackBerry-branded devices worldwide, except in Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. The last smartphone designed and manufactured by BlackBerry Limited (the creator of the BlackBerry brand) was the BlackBerry Priv. After that, TCL Communication took over the manufacturing, distribution, and design of BlackBerry-branded devices.
In 2020, TCL Corporation announced that it would stop manufacturing BlackBerry devices and end its access to the BlackBerry license. The last developed phone under BlackBerry Mobile was the Blackberry Key2LE. However, in August 2020, BlackBerry signed a new licensing agreement with a US-based startup called OnwardMobility to continue producing BlackBerry smartphones. Unfortunately, OnwardMobility never released a device before shutting down in 2022.
BlackBerry Mobile devices ran on the Android operating system and included security software provided by BlackBerry Limited. They also had features like the BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Hub, which were part of BlackBerry's previous flagship operating system, BlackBerry 10.
The history of BlackBerry Mobile is intertwined with the rise and fall of the BlackBerry brand. In the early 2000s, BlackBerry dominated the mobile industry with its smartphones. However, as touchscreen devices like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy became popular, BlackBerry lost its dominance. To adapt, BlackBerry launched the BlackBerry Priv in 2015, its first device running on Android.
In 2016, BlackBerry decided to outsource the production of its devices to TCL Corporation. TCL manufactured several BlackBerry devices, including the BlackBerry DTEK50 and DTEK60. BlackBerry then shifted its focus to becoming a software security company. TCL was chosen as the global licensee of the BlackBerry brand and released the BlackBerry KeyOne in 2017.
Overall, BlackBerry Mobile was a brand of smartphones that carried on the legacy of the BlackBerry brand. It offered devices running on Android with added security features, but its production and licensing eventually came to an end.