In spite of the ongoing noise in the United States regarding President Trump’s remarks on wanting to assist Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE Corp., another Chinese manufacturer, TCL Corp., has launched an advanced BlackBerry phone in the country. Running on the Android OS, this new smartphone is built with features that will easily distinguish it from other devices in its market class. Called the BlackBerry KEY2, features such as “Locker” have been praised as being the way in which manufacturers and software developers for these phones should go. This particular feature provides users an easier way of segregating the content on their phone into what they wish to upload to backup cloud storage services, and what they do not.
Sporting a price tag of USD 649, the KEY2 is the third phone that TCL Corp. has released through a strategic partnership with BlackBerry. Blackberry decided in 2016 to not manufacture devices, preferring instead to license its software to other manufacturers, and to be part of a digital auditing process to ensure that new devices were manufactured in accordance with the terms of the partnership.
In the midst of the current political climate in the US, one which sees some mixed rhetoric and dealing by the White House when it comes to where it stands on China, there is a clear indication that the market for smartphones in the US still encourages alternatives to Apple Inc. products, such as the iPhone with its iOS operating system that is proprietary and exclusive to the company. Only time will tell if the politics will impact the economics of the China equation that the US is currently troubling itself with.