BlackBerry ties up with Optiemus to make and sell handsets
BlackBerry has had a very rough year in 2016, as the company announced its departure from the hardware business to focus completely on software. This meant new partnerships to manufacture smartphones, and India being a key market, led to a venture with TCL to produce BlackBerry handsets globally.
BlackBerry has forged another relationship with an Indian company, Optiemus. A Delhi-based telecommunications based company, Optiemus Infracom Limited will help the Canadian company build handsets, market and distribute them in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
This is the third long-term partnership for the country after it recently tied-up with TCL. Through an exclusive distribution partnership with Optiemus Infracom, BlackBerry brought the DTEK60, as well as the cheaper DTEK50 to customers across India.
The blog post on BlackBerry’s website read, “We are licensing our device software and brand assets to Optiemus, who will, in turn, design, manufacture, sell, promote, and support BlackBerry-branded devices throughout India and neighboring markets, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Together, that encompasses nearly 1.5 billion people, most of whom have never owned a smartphone before.”
BlackBerry will maintain security on those devices through regular updates. With this deal, BlackBerry now has licensees ready to manufacture and deliver BlackBerry-branded devices in every market around the world, thus completing their transition to a security software and services company.
The company was looking to move purely into security software and services company, and with Optiemus’ deal, it is now possible to reach to all the markets it was still not competitive in. A lot of people still don’t know that BlackBerry has shifted to Android OS, which will now be easier to sell in these emerging markets.
This new partnership also aligns with the Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, as India will be playing a key role in BlackBerry’s business. India is not only the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world, it’s already surpassed the U.S. to become the second-largest market (behind only China).
Will BlackBerry be able to make a comeback?
Even though BlackBerry has decided to move purely to the software side of its phones, the hardware part will be majorly driven by its directions. Going forward, you can expect cheaper phones and other products in the pipeline, which will make the experience a lot better.
BlackBerry has been known to have the strongest security features, and these can also be seen in the DTEK50 and DTEK60
smartphones. Unfortunately, the phones are a little expensive for their credentials and pricing has never been strong for the company.
If they could bring the prices down by even Rs. 5,000, then the phones would at least spring up in the handsets that
demand attention. Lack of proper marketing and distribution have always been an issue for the company, but this tie-up can be very promising if taken smartly.