BlackBerry has previously and publicly pulled out of making devices around its own operating system, opting for layering its own security software onto Android going forward.
Now though it looks like it won't even make its own phones by heading down the ODM route - having another manufacturer make them and branding them "BlackBerry".
It is claimed that the oft-rumoured BlackBerry Hamburg will be manufactured by TCL Communication instead. TCL is the company behind the Alcatel smartphones for consumer use.
A Wi-Fi Alliance certificate - needed to ensure the phone meets international wireless communication standards - was found by Twitter user Roland Quandt and shows the model number STH100-2 and the manufacturer TCL. However, the exact designation "STH100-2" has been linked with the forthcoming Android phone from BlackBerry for a while.
The certificate does indeed list the handset as being tested with Android M, so the clues are there. In addition, the Wi-Fi Alliance has since removed the listing, which often serves as validation in our experience.
Wi-Fi Alliance took down the listing for the BlackBerry STH100-2 made by Alcatel/TCL. Any more confirmation needed? https://t.co/fjAHF39tx0— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) June 27, 2016
So, unless Alcatel is also mysteriously making a separate phone with the same model number, it is highly likely that BlackBerry has decided to outsource its hardware production going forward.
CEO John Chen did recently say, "We are at the point that where our business are extremely efficient and we no longer really making any hardware. We are really a hardware design house. I do design, I don't really make hardware." Pushing production to TCL fits those words.
It is not known whether the other rumoured mid-range Android handset, the BlackBerry Rome, will also be made by TCL. We'll keep them peeled.
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