Delhi, India – 6 February, 2017 – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), a global software leader in securing, connecting and mobilizing enterprises, is announcing its next major agreement to license BlackBerry software and services for the production of secure BlackBerry Android handsets in more global markets including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
The exclusive, long-term licensing agreement with leading Indian telecom enterprise, Optiemus Infracom Ltd follows BlackBerry‘s recent global licensing agreement with TCL Communication and PT BlackBerry Merah Putih in Indonesia. With this latest regional deal, BlackBerry has now achieved 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.
Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry will license its security software and services suite, as well as related brand assets to Optiemus Infracom Ltd. The partner will design, manufacture, sell, promote and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices that offer the full BlackBerry experience, including the trusted BlackBerry for Android secure software, in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. 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.
As BlackBerry has previously announced, the company is transitioning its handheld devices strategy to focus on continued software innovation – ultimately providing the most secure and comprehensive software for devices around the world, while leveraging third parties to develop hardware and distribute and market the BlackBerry handset brand. Importantly, the agreement between BlackBerry and Optiemus Infracom Ltd also supports the Indian Government’s “Make in India” initiative, which aims to create local manufacturing and job opportunities.
Alex Thurber, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry says, “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 localization. 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 neighboring markets.”
Mr. Ashok Gupta, Chairman of Optiemus Infracom Ltd. says, “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, to our customers in the world’s fastest growing smartphone market. This agreement will help us expand mobility choices by designing, manufacturing and offering secure BlackBerry devices which are made in India, for customers in India, as well as Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. 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.”
The agreement with Optiemus Infracom Ltd expands on an existing relationship announced in November 2016, for the distribution and sale of the DTEK50 and DTEK60 by BlackBerry, 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.
Additional information on the product roadmap and availability of new devices manufactured by Optiemus Infracom Ltd will be available in coming months.
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