Though Blackberry might have given up on its hardware ambitions but it has been relegating the said task to third-party phone makers all across the globe. Adding to the said list, the Canadian giant has today concluded the proceedings for its third major smartphone licensing deal with Optiemus, a Delhi-based telecom enterprise.
A couple weeks ago, the rumor mill had been abuzz with stories of the said partnership. This deal now crowns Optiemus as the new head of BlackBerry’s Mobility Solutions Division. Under this long-term licensing agreement, Optiemus will be designing, manufacturing, selling, promoting, and supporting BlackBerry-branded devices throughout India. It will also market BlackBerry products in neighboring markets, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
On BlackBerry’s side, the company will license the device, software, and brand assets to Optiemus along with its security suites. This will, in turn, allow Optiemus to carry out operations smoothly for BlackBerry. Optiemus has signed the deal to bring their latest handset design and years of experience to the market. Furthermore, it plans to integrate BlackBerry security suite and versatility of Android to build phones for customers in India.
Mr. Ashok Gupta, Chairman of Optiemus Infracom said,
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.
Blackberry also believes that the partnership with the India-based manufacturer will boost the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative by creating local manufacturing and job opportunities. Though Blackberry will lend its assets to the latter, it’ll maintain the security of those devices through regular updates.
Detailing the deal, Alex Thurber, Senior VP and General Manager (Mobility Solutions) at BlackBerry said,
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 neighbouring markets.
The agreement of licensing is an extension of relationship formed between the duo in November 2016. Back then, Blackberry had appointed Optiemus for the distribution and sale of the BlackBerry DTEK50 and DTEK60.
Prior to Optiemus, Chinese company TCL acquired exclusive rights to produce and market ‘Blackberry’ branded phones. Under the terms of this agreement, the former will license its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets to the latter. In turn, TCLwill be designing, manufacturing, selling and providing customer support for the Canadian firm’s mobile devices.
The partnerships will extend the reach of Blackberry devices to additional 1.5 billion potential smartphone users. The company will not only be able to support developing smartphone markets but will also spread BlackBerry’s software experience worldwide.