Hoping to woo old users back with a QWERTY monoblock keyboard that has become a rarity these days and wishing to get new users interested in the added layer of security and software convenience, BlackBerry has brought its new KEYone Limited Edition Black smartphone to India. Available exclusively on Amazon from August 8, the phone will be priced at Rs 39,990 and marketed and manufactured by Optiemus infracom Limited.
Hardip Singh, executive director of Optiemus, told indianepress.com that the phone will be manufactured by his company in India. “That is what lets us bring the phone here at global prices, which has never happened before,” he said. Singh is optimistic that he will be able to cash in on the brand value BlackBerry still enjoys in India. “It’s no small thing that there are still over a million active BlackBerry phones in India.” He said the easy EMI plans they have lined up will make the phone affordable to everyone.
Alex Thurber, senior vice-president and general manager of mobility solutions at Blackberry, said the company was now focussed on the licensing partnerships model and Optiemus will be the partner in India. The two had earlier collaborated for launching the
Dtek phones. Globally BlackBerry has three such partners. “Here the strategy is to work closely with Optiemus which knows the market better. They will also be in charge of the relationships with partners,” he said. BlackBerry, he said, is very focussed on the Indian market. “With 1.5 billion customers it is a growth market for us.”
For now, two customers will get bonus points if the phone is purchased with an American Express card and 75GB
additional data if the phone is used on a Vodafone. Incidentally, the latter applies for both postpaid and prepaid users which is new.
BlackBerry KEYOne comes with 4.5-inch Full HD LCD IPS display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor with 3GB RAM on board, along with 32GB storage. Battery on the BlackBerry KEYOne is 3505 mAh with the company promising 26 hours of talktime.
The BlackBerry KeyOne has a 12MP rear camera with the SonyIMX378 sensor and 1.125um pixel size. The front camera is 8MP. The highlight of the BlackBerry KeyOne is the physical keyboard with four rows of keys and touch sensitivity for swipe and scroll. The fingerprint scanner is embedded inside the space bar of the BlackBerry KEYOne.