BlackBerry reprised its entry into the smartphone market with TCL in December 2016 and unveiled the first look of their upcoming device in January 2017. But Indian consumers were concerned they might not be able to get their hands on the upcoming BlackBerry-branded devices.
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TCL was announced as the exclusive global manufacturer and distributor of all smartphones carrying the BlackBerry branding except in the following countries: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
The Canadian firm has signed up with Optiemus Infracom, who will be manufacturing and distributing BlackBerry devices in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
“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,” said Alex Thurber, Senior VP, Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry.
In the past, Optiemus Infracom has worked as distributors for Nokia branded mobile phones in the 1990s and early 2000s as well as that of Samsung.
Optiemus Inframcom also partnered with the company in November 2016 to distribute BlackBerry’s DTEK and few other devices.
“With its 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,” Thurber added.
BlackBerry has shifted its focus to developing secure and comprehensive software for smartphones worldwide and has been actively looking for distributors and manufacturers for hardware for its smartphones.
With this latest deal, BlackBerry has secured manufacturing and distribution for its devices globally — partnering with TCL, Optiemus Infracom and Merah Putih (Indonesia).
“Our exclusive partnership with BlackBerry, a brand synonymous with secure mobile communications, shows how we are continuing to partner and innovate to bring the latest in handset design and experience, combining the security of BlackBerry and versatility of Android,” said Ashok Gupta, Chairman, Optiemus Infracom Ltd.
India is one of the biggest markets for all smartphone companies and this deal puts BlackBerry back in the race after — failing to adapt to changing times and platform — it dropped out in September last year.