Once the favourite handset of corporate bigwigs and enterprise customers, Canadian mobile company Blackberry is all set to make a comeback in India.
The company, which has seen its fortunes slide across the world after the onslaught from Android-powered smartphones and iPhones from Apple, is now banking on the appeal from locally-built handsets, a first for the well-known firm.
The company -known for its QWERTY keyboards – launched the KEYone device in India priced at Rs 39,990. This is being manufactured at the Noida factory of Optiemus Infracom that also makes devices for a host of other handset makers.
Hardip Singh, director at Optiemus, informed that the company had in February this year had signed a brand licensing agreement with Blackberry for the design, manufacture, marketing, and service of its devices in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
“This is the first device being manufactured locally and we intend to launch more devices across various price points,” Singh went on to inform.
Analysts say that the going for Blackberry , that now runs on Android operating system may not be easy as the Indian handset market is dominated by the large number of Chinese vendors apart from Korean electronics giant Samsung.
But with its weak appeal and a limited brand recall value, Blackberry may not be able to make a strong dent especially in view of the large marketing and sales spends undertaken by the Chinese makers.
Singh, however, said that the company is confident of its outing this time around as local manufacturing gives it the flexibility to price the products competitively while packing them with rich features.