The BlackBerry curse is alive and well

From CNET: The last few years saw BlackBerry phones slide into irrelevancy as consumers opted for flashier offerings from Apple or Samsung.

Some things never change.

TCL, a Chinese company best known for cheap televisions, as well as budget phones under its Alcatel brand, earlier this year took on the ambitious project of reviving the BlackBerry brand. The result: the company saw its market share fall in the third quarter.

One beneficiary of this decline is Motorola, which jumped into the top five spot for the first time since 2015, according to a report by market research firm Strategy Analytics (account required).

The shifts underscore the finicky nature of the US phone business when it comes to mid and lower-tier phones. Apple and Samsung dominate the premium market with iPhones and Galaxy S phones, with a lock on the No. 1 and 2 positions, respectively. But there's a dogfight below as consumers hunt for the best bargains and there's a battle for who can pack in the best components and features for the lowest price.

TCL, which benefited from momentum last year, was poised to have a strong 2017 with the addition of BlackBerry to its portfolio. The company launched its first BlackBerry phone, the KeyOne, in February at a splashy event in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress trade show. Showing that it was committed to the brand, it followed up with an all-touchscreen BlackBerry Motion in October.

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