BlackBerry signs license agreement to bring its smartphones to one of world's biggest markets


BlackBerry continues to ink strategic partnerships with various companies after exiting the smartphone industry. The Canadian corporation has signed license agreements with TCL Communication and BB Merah Putih for the design, manufacture, and sale of BlackBerry smartphones in various regions.

Today, BlackBerry announced another licensing deal meant to bring its smartphones to nearly 1.5 billion potential customers across India and neighboring markets. Optiemus Infracom is the name of the company that will launch BlackBerry-branded smartphones in India. It's the same company chosen by BlackBerry to distribute its DTEK50 and DTEK60 smartphones in India.

According to BlackBerry, Optiemus will be allowed to “design, manufacture, sell, promote, and support” BlackBerry-branded smartphones not just in India, but also in other countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

BlackBerry follows the same business model as Nokia, which inked a similar deal with the Finnish company HMD Global. The third licensing deal announced by BlackBerry in the last couple of months is meant to ensure that its smartphones will be available in every market around the world.



In the meantime, TCL is expected to introduce the Mercury, the last BlackBerry smartphone made by the Canadian company. The announcement will go live on February 25, but the handset might not hit the shelves until late March.

source: BlackBerry

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18 Comments

1. Arthurhkt

Posts: 727; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Well, seem like BlackBerry did a good job here, I wonder when is Microsoft turn?

18. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Unless Microsoft ises Androod, they dont stand a chance. Windows Mobile use to be a big thing back in the day, but with Android you dokt need anytbong else trying ro be cheap.im India. What i can say is, unless Apple builds a sub $100 phome amd sell ot for $200 or less, they arent goomg ro sell anymore devices in India that they do now.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 22503; Member since: May 28, 2014

Wow...BlackBerry get out of the hardware game and signs licensing agreements that will more than likely have us seeing more BlackBerry devices in the smartphone market than ever before. Looks like Chen certainly had the right idea when he chose to have BlackBerry supply software and services to other companies that will build and market BlackBerry branded hardware. Guess the haters had it wrong with saying BlackBerry is "dead" and all, lol.

4. MDCHO

Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

Agree with you, Meanestgenius. The haters have it wrong. BlackBerry has made deals in relative short time to ensure that we see many BlackBerry smartphones available. Chen very wise to do that.

12. Furbal unregistered

Hopefully it proves fruitful. I got my dtek60 this week and am liking it very much.

17. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Is it a good phone? I didn't like the last Droidberry phone they released, but this one looks good with the ffs and a camera that isn't terrible. Price is much more affordable to.

3. avishekmukherjee

Posts: 362; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

Great job BlackBerry

5. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Ah! 'berry...! I've some fond memories of my Blackberry, which I used to call... Blueberry... ...For some very odd reasons... Anyhow, I don't know a SINGLE person who still use a Blackberry! Mostly iPhones, a couple of Androids and an old flip phone! Blackberry has aged... And... It hasn't aged well... (Like your's truly) While flipphones are still in fashion and are considered "retro" (as opposed to "old"), The 'berries with a Physical Keyboard are all but DEAD... Read my lips; DEAD... People have moved on to full screened Smartphones, and I'm no exception... And these DTEK's (Sound like a name of an industrial chemical to me) have little to distinguish themselves from... THE HERD...! Samsung has highly optimized and feature packed Touchwiz, Xiaomi and OnePlus have cheap price tags, Pixels have stock Android and quick updates, Huawei has simplistic and shaved down Android which runs a lot like iOS... What these Berries have...? Eh...? Oh well, G'Day!

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 22503; Member since: May 28, 2014

DTEK's have their software, security, and services to differentiate themselves from the "herd", just like Samsung has Touchwiz. They also have inexpensive pricing, especially when comparing the flagship DTEK60 to other flagship devices. It has comparable specs for less. BlackBerry Android handsets also have quick monthly patches, just like Nexus and Pixels do. They are on par with Nexus and Pixel phones in regards to this, and sometimes faster. BlackBerry Android handsets also have near stock Android UI. Can't get anymore simplistic than that on Android unless you're running pure stock Android. Perhaps you should actually use a BlackBerry Android handset before making ignorant comments like someone else around here often does. Physical keyboards aren't dead. There are places where they are still favored, like enterprise, government, and countries like Indonesia. Even your newfound favorite company, Samsung, doesn't think that they're dead, or they wouldn't have made that pkb attachment for the Galaxy S line. Niche? Yes. Dead? Absolutely not. I don't understand people like you that have a problem with something being different and people wanting that different thing.

10. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Sorry mate, I was a little drunk...! Humblest apologies... Look at all those mistakes I made in my previous comment...! Wow... Anyhow about 'berry and Nokia and their future... Well, I understand how enthusiastic you and some other users are about these brands. But only time will tell how well they perform in a highly saturated market, so lets not get ahead of ourselves... But what we 'do' know so far is that Blackberry and Nokia are aiming at a market where the likes of HTC, Sony (former Sony Ericsson), LG and Motorola (Even Microsoft, although its a slightly different story) are struggling. Struggling to maintain, let alone expand, their market share... And I'm sure you're aware of it more than I do... And the fate of Blackberry's highly anticipated Priv has proved that it's hard to compete in the market while solely relying on what I call "Brand recognition"... If you've a good brand, that's good... But if you've solid products with competetive pricings, that's BETTER...! MUCH BETTER...! How, do you think, Chinese Brands like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huawei and Oppo came out of nowhere and literally wiped out Samsung and HTC's presence in the budget Smartphone (Sub $200) segment...? Well, you're a smart man...! G'Day!

13. meanestgenius

Posts: 22503; Member since: May 28, 2014

OEM's like HTC and Sony are failing because they are still trying to compete price-wise in this saturated smartphone market. Motorola (Lenovo) and LG price their products lower, while offering innovative features like Moto-Mods and the "LG and Friends" attachments. While they are still struggling, they are performing better than Sony and HTC are. Microsoft is struggling because they aren't putting any effort into the Windows 10 for Mobile platform at the moment, and because the app gap. While it's true that Samsung and Apple currently own the smartphone market, Nokia and BlackBerry have the right idea in terms of their new methods of being in the smartphone market. Nokia is competing with its strong brand name and pricing. The Nokia 6, for instance, is moving quite well. I guarantee you that once Nokia releases a flagship spec'd device internationally at less of a price than current flagships, it will sell in numbers that compete with the more successful Chines OEM's. BlackBerry has obviously learned it's lesson from the PRIV. It's not that the PRIV wasn't a competitive and capable device, because it is. It was just priced out of reach for most. What I don't understand is why you and others keep harping on the PRIV while ignoring the DTEK60, which offers flagship specs, stellar BlackBerry Secured Android software, and is priced about $200 less than other similarly spec'd flagships. With TCL now in charge of designing, manufacturing and marketing BlackBerry branded handsets in most parts of the world, as well as BB Merah Putih and Optiemus Infracom in charge of the same in Indonesia and India respectively, and BlackBerry concentrating on what they do best (Secured Software and Services for their branded handsets), we are bound to see more upward movement of BlackBerry handsets around the world. Remember, one of BlackBerry's biggest shortcomings in the smartphone market was the lack marketing, and these new partners are taking care of that. If what we've seen from the Mercury with TCL/BlackBerry Mobile is any indication, marketing will be much, much better. Also remember that in Indonesia BlackBerry still has a strong presence there. Not getting "ahead of myself", but I doubt BlackBerry would have been able to secure such deals if these hardware partners didn't feel that they could sell BlackBerry branded smartphones in respectable quantities.

7. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

Yay! Like the Nokia deal, this means revenue for Blackberry regardless of how well they sell. Now let see how Optiemus will deal with Samsung that dominate in India and other Chinese manufacturers that are gaining ground.

8. fonelover

Posts: 255; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

How Optiemus Infracom and TCL both will design and manufacture same branded product? BB should have given the responsibility only to TCL.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22503; Member since: May 28, 2014

TCL is not licensed to design and manufacture BlackBerry branded handsets in India or Indonesia. The Indian government wants smartphones manufactured locally, hence BlackBerry's deal with Optiemus Infracom. A similar deal was struck in Indonesia with BB Merah Putih. TCL covers the rest of the world with BlackBerry Branded handsets, although, there may be a forthcoming deal with a company in Africa.

11. fonelover

Posts: 255; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

So, Optimus will prepare and check the design with both BB and TCL and then go for manufacturing as per BB standard.

14. meanestgenius

Posts: 22503; Member since: May 28, 2014

BlackBerry alone will be making sure that their branded handsets made in India and Indonesia are up to their standards. TCL will NOT have anything to do with BlackBerry branded handsets in India or Indonesia whatsoever. BlackBerry will also be making sure of the same thing concerning TCL.

15. Subie

Posts: 2427; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

And that's a good thing too. It would absolutely destroy the BB brand if they blindly licence it and some oem just throws really poor product on the market hoping the logo alone will move sales...

16. meanestgenius

Posts: 22503; Member since: May 28, 2014

Exactly. Totally agree with you.

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