Canadian mobile maker BlackBerry on Monday announced its partnership with Optiemus, a Delhi-based telecom enterprise to licence software and services for the production of secure Android handsets in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry will licence its security software and services suite, as well as related brand assets to Optiemus Infracom Ltd. The partner will design, manufacture, sell, and promote BlackBerry-branded mobile phones, whilst providing customer support for devices. In a joint statement, the companies said the agreement supports the "Indian Government's 'Make in India' initiative, which aims to create local manufacturing and job opportunities."
The agreement with Optiemus Infracom Ltd expands on an existing relationship announced in November 2016, for the distribution and sale of the BlackBerry DTEK50 and BlackBerry DTEK60 by BlackBerry, part of the company's DTEK series of secure Android smartphones with BlackBerry Security Software inside. These devices continue to be available through the company's distribution network.
The agreement, coupled with BlackBerry's previous announcement of bringing the BlackBerry Mercury to different markets with licensing partners, may well indicate that Optiemus Infracom will bring 'the last smartphone to be developed in-house by BlackBerry' to India. We've reached out to the company for a statement, and will update this article based on the response.
The companies' statement also points to recent BlackBerry agreements with TCL and with BB Merah Putih to manufacture and distribute smartphones in select regions.
"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," said Alex Thurber, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry, in a statement.
BlackBerry will continue to control and develop its security and software solutions and maintain trusted BlackBerry security software, including regular Android security updates to the platform.
"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," added Ashok Gupta, Chairman of Optiemus Infracom Ltd.
Written with inputs from IANS