“Here’s what you can expect from BlackBerry in India next”
While BlackBerry has stopped making devices, its partner in India, Optiemus Infracom is planning to release two smartphones this quarter under the Blackberry branding.
“There are many devices in the pipeline for this year. You will see at least two devices launching this quarter,” Hardip Singh, Executive Director, Optiemus Infracom told 91mobiles in an interaction. Singh said that the devices would be launched across different price brackets. However, he emphasised that BlackBerry being a premium brand wouldn’t consider making budget phones. The upcoming devices are the first ones to be designed and manufactured under Optiemus.
“While security and privacy will be the main draws to buy Blackberry phones, the devices will have all the features present for the price range,” Singh said. He added that the smartphones will be a mix of keyboard based and full touch phones so prospective buyers get ample choice. BlackBerry phones come loaded with a special app from DTEK which measures the security level of the phone and tells you how to improve it.
Optiemus had started distributing BlackBerry devices in October-November 2016 and signed the licensing deal in February 2017. Singh said that there were already 1 million BlackBerry users in India when they started manufacturing. The company has launched one device, the BlackBerry KEYone (review) in India till now. It was launched in India for Rs 39,990, and as per Singh, received positive response.
Singh noted that while the KEYone was designed by TCL, it was customised for India by Optiemus before it was launched. He said that the company decided not to launch the BlackBerry Motion (in pictures) because it thought that it is not appropriate for the Indian market.
BlackBerry will face tough competition from the likes of Motorola, Huawei and OnePlus across different price ranges. While security and privacy are the centre point of BlackBerry devices, the company would also need to work on other aspects to entice users. Meanwhile, new devices called BlackBerry Ghost, Ghost Pro and Athena have popped up on the interwebs, giving us some idea on what to expect from the brand next.