This is the new BlackBerry – software licensing powerhouse. With its latest signing, the once dominant smartphone maker now blankets the globe with its manufacturing deals, a completion of its prolonged pivot toward becoming a software and services-only company.
This morning, the Canadian company announced an “exclusive, long-term” deal with Optiemus Infracom Ltd, allowing the Delhi-based telecom company to design and manufacture handsets carrying BlackBerry’s Android-based security software.
The announcement follows similar deals with PT BB Merah Putih in Indonesia and TCL, which blankets the rest of the world. Between the three of them, the next incarnation of BlackBerry will have the globe covered. Optiemus’s territories include India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
BlackBerry notes that India has previously been a solid market for the company. A previous deal found Optiemus selling the DTEK50 and DTEK60, the final two phones under the former BlackBerry banner, both designed by future licenser, TCL.
And certainly India is a market of growing importance, on-track to surpass the US as the second largest smartphone market – a growth spurt that many manufacturers, including Apple have been looking to capitalize on of late. The fruits of the deal will be announced in the following months.
Until then, BlackBerry’s taken to adding the following disclaimer to its partner announcements, “BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.”