As per the agreement, BlackBerry will license its brand name, security software and suite of services to Delhi-based Optiemus Infracom.
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BlackBerry Limited has signed yet another licensing deal to design, manufacture and sell BlackBerry software powered Android smartphones in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. Following its deal with Chinese OEM TCL, BlackBerry has now roped in Delhi-based Optiemus Infracom to manufacture and sell BlackBerry smartphones in the country and its neighbours.
As per the agreement, BlackBerry will license its brand name, security software and suite of services to Optiemus Infracom, which will in turn manufacture, promote and sell the devices in India. The deal was first reported on February 3, but has now been officially announced. A statement released by the BlackBerry says that the deal will help encourage the ‘Make In India’ movement.
As reported by Economic Times, Alex Thurber, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry 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. This is an important milestone in our strategy to put ‘the smart in the phone’, providing state-of-the-art security and device software on a platform relevant to mobile customers, with more localization. With its infrastructure and experience in manufacturing, and proven success as our distribution partner, Optiemus Infracom Ltd is the ideal partner to design and manufacture trusted BlackBerry secure Android handsets for customers in India and neighboring markets.”
Commenting on the Ashok Gupta, Chairman of Optiemus Infracom Ltd. said, "This agreement will help us expand mobility choices by designing, manufacturing and offering secure BlackBerry devices which are made in India, for customers in India, as well as Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. With our strong end to end play in the mobile ecosystem in manufacturing, retail, distribution and support, we are confident that our journey with BlackBerry will be a long and successful one.”
As per previous reports, Optiemus Infracom plans to focus on manufacturing BlackBerry handsets priced between Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 20,000, hinting that the company might be looking to target India's budget Android users. These handsets will be localised for Indian users, while they will recieve regular security updates from BlackBerry. Optiemus will be manufacturing BlackBerry handsets in India at a Wistron facility, as the company has a contract with the Taiwanese manufacturer. Incidently, Cupertino-based Apple is also set to assemble and manufacture iPhones in India at a Wistron facility in Peenya, Karnataka.
BlackBerry launched its latest Android handsets, DTEK 50 and DTEK 60 in India back in December, 2016. While the DTEK 50 is priced at Rs. 21,890, the DTEK 60 is a more premium smartphone priced at Rs. 41,500.
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