BlackBerry in talks with banks to finance high-end handsets

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 22, 2013

Handset-maker BlackBerry is in talks with banks to introduce a new financing scheme for “select models” that will include high-end handsets and some mid-range phones.

The scheme will come into effect from the first week of April.

Under the new financing scheme, BlackBerry will allow users to purchase the device through equated monthly instalments (EMIs) but without an initial down payment. Interest costs will be borne by the device-maker. The scheme will be for “select models” but extended across all stores that include company-owned, franchisees and multi-brand outlets.

According to Prosenjit Sen, Director-Channel Sales, BlackBerry India, the company is in talks with private banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Citibank and Standard Chartered among others.

“We are working out the details. Possibly, we will juxtapose some of the mid and high-end models in it,” Sen told Business Line.

The current financing scheme, which BlackBerry has, is available for purchases from the company-owned stores only. It has just 66 company stores compared with 5,000 point of sales.

EMI schemes have recently gained popularity with device-makers such as Apple and Samsung.

Under these schemes, high-end handsets are available on down-payment (a part of the original cost) while the balance is divided into equal instalments. “Our studies have shown that purchases are often deferred in case of high-priced handsets or when a huge down payment has to be made,” he added.

Apart from slashing the price of its entry level device (Curve 9220) by Rs 2,000 in February this year, BlackBerry is also planning to ramp up its distribution network.

Distribution Network

It is eyeing an entry into 100 new cities and towns and expand its presence from 250 to 350 Indian cities and towns. “Our presence in these new towns will be primarily through older models,” Sen added.

Accordingly, the number of company-owned outlets will be raised to 100 from the existing 66 by May. The company is also looking to double its point of sale from 5,000-10,000 by the end of February next year. (BlackBerry follows a March to February calendar for accounting purposes.)

Published on March 22, 2013
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