Finding themselves stranded after missing the Android boat, legendary mobile phone brands Nokia and Blackberry sunk themselves in quick sand. However, they’ve finally managed to hop on board now and have big plans in store. So while Nokia is busy prepping for the MWC this month, Blackberry has announced a new partnership with an Indian company. The Canadian phone maker has inked a deal with Optiemus Infracom for manufacturing Blackberry branded Android phones in India. This news comes close on the heels of Apple confirming that it has chosen Bangalore as its new assembly site.
While Blackberry already has a Global licensing agreement with TCL Communications, this new partnership with Optiemus is in line with their strategy to licence hardware development to third parties. This deal will allow Optiemus Infracom to design, manufacture, sell, promote and provide after sales support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices that offer a legit BlackBerry experience, including the BlackBerry for Android secure software, in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. However, BlackBerry will continue to control and develop security and software solutions and maintain the BlackBerry security software, including regular Android security updates.
Optiemus Infracom has been a partner with BlackBerry since November 2016 for distribution and sale of its DTEK50 and DTEK60 handsets. These devices continue to be available through the company’s distribution network, which will now be further leveraged once full scale manufacturing commences.
On this collaboration, BlackBerry Senior Vice President, General Manager, Mobility Solutions, Alex Thurber said. “India is a very important market for BlackBerry, so we are delighted our latest licensing partnership will extend the BlackBerry software experience to more customers and support the Indian government’s ‘Make In India’ agenda.”
Chairman of Optiemus Infracom, Mr. Ashok Gupta said, “With the company’s strong end-to-end play in the mobile ecosystem in manufacturing, retail, distribution and support, it is confident that the journey with BlackBerry will be a long and successful one.”