Guess who else is joining the local government’s “Make in India” program. We’re talking about BlackBerry… sort of, as Optiemus Infracom Ltd follows China’s TCL Communication and Indonesia’s PT BB Merah Putih in striking long-term licensing agreements with the cost and risk-cutting Canadian mobile outfit.
The “latest regional deal” will help BlackBerry achieve “full global coverage for licensees in all markets to manufacture BlackBerry-branded devices, proving the company is delivering on its licensing strategy and accelerating its transition to be a leading security software and services company.”
Just like that newly formed BB Merah Putih joint venture in Indonesia, and TCL… everywhere else, this little known Optiemus business shall handle everything from the design and production to the promotion, distribution and customer support for BlackBerry-branded smartphones sold in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh starting soon.
All that BlackBerry will contribute to the partnership is its once revered name, as well as a still-respected security software and services suite, including the “trusted BlackBerry for Android secure” platform and “regular” updates.
Optiemus, in case you missed last fall’s news, already distributes and sells the DTEK50 and 60 in India, actually boasting over two decades of “extensive experience and understanding of the Indian market”, having sold the country’s first mobile phone way back in 1995.
What we’re not sure about is the company’s ability to also build phones from scratch, although it’s possible that key responsibility will be passed on to a literal third party. Finally, while information on the “product roadmap and availability” of Optiemus-made BlackBerries is likely a few months away, we’re ready to wager a bunch of affordable low-enders are coming. No flagships from any licensee besides TCL.