Despite all the talk of it being down and out, BlackBerry continues to toil with its hardware. The Canadian smartphone company on Monday brought into India its new Android-powered smartphones — DTEK 50 and DTEK 60, priced at R21,990 and R46,990 respectively. The company also announced a new distribution partnership with Optiemus.
However, Blackberry is now a software company in every way with end-to-end cross platform mobility solution with secure connections. “The company now has four pillars: enterprise solutions, technology solutions, secure messaging and secure handsets,” explained BlackBerry India head Narendra Nayak. Clearly in the new world handsets is the last of BlackBerry’s priorities.
Alex Thurber, senior VP for global device sales, said the company takes its tag line of securely connecting the world very seriously. This function spears across all operating systems and platforms and is not limited to BB OS like before. “What you have on your phone is your life,” Thurber said to underline the importance of privacy these days.
In fact, even with the DTEK phones BlackBerry is offering more software than hardware, with the phone being manufactured by a different ODM. “At the end of the day you are interacting with the software and that is our expertise,” said Thurber.
The DTEK phones come with inbuilt cryptographic features along with a secure boot-loader and the DTEK app that secures the apps downloaded on it. DTEK 50 will standout for its 3GB RAM and 13MP rear camera and 5.2-inch full HD display. It is a value phone aimed at the mid-tier, said Thurber, accepting that the Priv was too expensive for most users. Incidentally, the DTEK 60 is now priced more than the Priv.
The company also announced a new distribution partnership with Optiemus, one of the larger players in the Indian mobile ecosystem. The company has a joint venture with Vistron for manufacturing and is also distributor for Samsung and Plantronics.