BlackBerry is looking to re-invigorate its business with a licensing agreement with Indian telecoms company Optiemus Infracom Ltd which will spread BlackBerry software and Android-based mobiles into more markets, including India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sir Lanka.
The agreement is a long-term deal which builds upon a similar licensing deal the company recently made with TCL Communication and PT BB Merah Putih in Indonesia.
“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 localisation,” said Alex Thurber, general manager of BlackBerry’s Mobility Solutions division.
“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.”
Given the economic growth India has enjoyed over the recent years, the licensing agreement with Optiemus give BlackBerry the scope to spread its software and brand into a buoyant market, while it concentrates on building out its secure software and communications portfolio, rather than concern itself with designing and manufacturing devices and managing the supply chain that takes them from the drawing board to the hands of customers.
This is all keeping with BlackBerry’s strategy to pursue software creation rather than try and stick with creating mobile handset in the face of insurmountable competition for the likes of Apple and Samsung, though BlackBerry still has a few smartphones left in its portfolio, though it is very much a software first company in its current guise.
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