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Once-iconic BlackBerry now has virtually zero market share

Mumbai, Feb 16: As global smartphone sales to end-users hit nearly 432 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, once a market leader BlackBerry now virtually has a zero per cent share.


According to the market research firm Gartner, out of more than 431.5 million smartphones sold last year, about 200,000 were BlackBerry devices that were running on its own operating system but that gives it less than half the unit volume of the "other OS" category. 


"This wasn't hard to see coming given BlackBerry's years-long decline, gradual shift toward Android and recent focus on services," Engadget reported.


Microsoft's Windows phones are not doing good either. The share of Windows fell from 1.1 percent to 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2016. 

In a bid to provide acceleration to BlackBerry's transition into a security software and services company, BlackBerry and TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited entered into a long-term licensing agreement recently.


Under the terms, BlackBerry will license its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets, to TCL Communication who will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.


TCL Communication will be the exclusive global manufacturer and distributor for all BlackBerry-branded smartphones with the exception of the following countries -- India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia. 


The company announced partnership with Optiemus, a Delhi-based telecom enterprise to licence software and services for the production of secure Android handsets in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.


Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry will licence its security software and services suite, as well as related brand assets to Optiemus Infracom Ltd. 


The partner will design, manufacture, sell, promote and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices that offer the full BlackBerry experience, including the trusted BlackBerry for Android secure software.