Good News for Black­Berry Fans, Op­tiemus to Make Phones Here

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire - Wri­tankar.Mukher­jee @times­group.com

Kolkata: Black­Berry, the brand that ruled the smart­phone world be­fore the ad­vent of iPhone and touch phones, is set for a re­turn to the coun­try with Delhi-based Op­tiemus In­fra­com sign­ing a10-year brand li­cens­ing agree­ment with the Cana­dian com­pany.

Op­tiemus, a dis­trib­u­tor of mo­bile phones and accessories, has bagged ex­clu­sive rights to design, man­u­fac­ture and sell the once iconic smart­phone brand, be­sides pro­vid­ing customer sup­port in In­dia and some neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, two se­nior in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives told ET. “The com­pany will fo­cus on Black­Berry hand­sets priced be­tween ₹ 12,000 to ₹ 20,000, which is the fastest grow­ing seg­ment in In­dia,” one of them said. The Delhi-based firm will lo­calise Black­Berry hand­sets for the In­dian mar­ket and ex­pects to sell two mil­lion hand­sets in one year, the per­son said.

Black­Berry will also li­cense its se­cu­rity soft­ware and ser­vice suite to Op­tiemus whereby it will launch Black­Berry smart­phones run­ning on Google An­droid op­er­at­ing sy- stem and po­si­tion them as ‘se­cured’ hand­sets. The hand­sets will also re­ceive se­cu­rity up­dates di­rectly from Black­Berry, the ex­ec­u­tives said. Op­tiemus chair­man Ashok Gupta de­clined to com­ment. An email sent to Black­Berry re­mained unan­swered as of press time on Thurs­day. Op­tiemus, which has been the dis­trib­u­tor of Black­Berry smart­phones in the coun­try since Novem­ber last, had re­cently set up a smart­phone con­tract man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions with Wistron of Taiwan in the coun­try. Black­Berry hand­sets will be made at this fa­cil­ity, the ex­ec­u­tives said.

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