The BlackBerry Mercury, which is the first of the new generation of BlackBerry devices, will be coming to store shelves on February 25th of this year -- BlackBerry Mobile revealed as much by way of a tweet. This release date is a pretty good choice for BlackBerry, considering that the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest tech show focusing on mobile devices, will be kicking a couple of days later on February 27th in the beautiful city of Barcelona in Spain.
BlackBerry certainly made the most of its appearance in the Consumer Electronics Show held earlier this year in the city of Las Vegas in Nevada. The new BlackBerry Mercury (also known as the DTEK70) not only wowed the loyal fans of the brand, but also generated some interest from other users, especially those willing to give another Android powered BlackBerry device a shot.
In terms of design, many may see the BlackBerry Mercury as a representative of both old and new generations of the brand. Despite the fact that the handset comes with a fully functional touch screen display screen, its physical QWERTY keyboard is still consistent with old school BlackBerry devices.
But in this day and age, will the BlackBerry brand still be able to compete with other Android devices? It is a tall order for sure, especially with how strong established names like Samsung (despite last year’s fiasco) and LG have remained in releasing flagship Android devices every year. And lest we forget, phone makers from China are not exactly sitting idly by either.
Interestingly, the BlackBerry brand lives on because of a Chinese company -- TCL, which also operates the Alcatel brand of mobile devices. BlackBerry had struck a licensing deal with TCL back in December of last year, with the former taking care of the design of the core security features of the new gen BlackBerry devices, while the latter will handle the production side of the deal. TCL is quite bold in proclaiming that consumers can expect more than one BlackBerry branded smartphone this year. It has even hinted that its future mobile offerings will range from high end models to budget friendly handsets.
In an intriguing twist, another old mobile brand is also trying to manufacture a comeback of sorts. Like BlackBerry, Nokia has inked a licensing deal with Finnish phone maker HMD, in order to start releasing Nokia branded devices once again. The first result of that deal is the Nokia 6, and just like the BlackBerry Mercury, this new generation Nokia phone runs on Google’s Android mobile operating system. Right now, the Nokia is only made available in the Chinese mobile market, but there is talk that by next month, just in time for the MWC 2017, HMD will be making some new announcements, including perhaps a global launch date for the Nokia 6.
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