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BlackBerry phones dead again? TCL to stop making the handsets

Sales of devices will end in August.

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Say goodbye to physical keyboards one more time. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It might be time to say goodbye, again, to BlackBerry phones. Chinese tech company TCL, which runs BlackBerry Mobile, said it's closing shop on the line of phones.

A tweet from the BlackBerry Mobile Twitter account Monday morning announced TCL will cease selling BlackBerry phones as of Aug. 31. It will continue to support its device until August 2022. 

"TCL Communication has no further rights to design, manufacture or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices," the company said Monday in a tweet. "However, TCL Communication will continue to provide support for the existing portfolio of mobile devices including customer service and warranty service until Aug. 31, 2022 -- or for as long as required by local laws where the mobile device was purchased." 

TCL made a deal to license Blackberry phones in December 2016f, and its first phone in the line, the BlackBerry KeyOne, debuted in 2017. A much-improved follow-up, the BlackBerry Key2, came out the following year. Last year, BlackBerry Mobile paused the release of the Key3 but did suggest there could possibly be a 5G device and a folding phone for 2020.

TCL and BlackBerry declined to comment further. 

Originally published Feb. 3 8:29 a.m. PT.
Update, 10:46 a.m. PT: Adds updates from TCL and BlackBerry. 

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