Beleaguered smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry is teaming up with technology distributor Ingram Micro to offer the BlackBerry portfolio of smartphones throughout Latin America.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ingram Micro Mobility, the distributor's supply-chain and mobile device lifecycle services and logistics solutions specialist, will offer the handsets to its customer base of more than 20,000 value-added resellers (VARs) and retailers throughout Latin America, covering both business-to-business and business-to-consumer operations.
"Ingram Micro is a valued partner for BlackBerry throughout the world," Wes Nicol, regional managing director for Latin America at BlackBerry, said in a statement. "We are excited that Ingram Micro Mobility has recently entered the Latin American market and we look forward to extending our relationship between the companies. The agreement with Ingram Micro in Latin America will create a new set of opportunities to better serve our customers, while providing easier access to our award-winning lineup of software, services and smartphones in more than 40 countries in the region."
The agreement equips BlackBerry with broader distribution of its products and services throughout the Latin American region by leveraging Ingram Micro's supply chain expertise, infrastructure and channel reach to resellers, system integrators, wireless carriers, retailers and other services providers.
"BlackBerry is a major player in the Latin American wireless industry and we're pleased to help grow their reach with retailers and wireless carriers," Anthony Mackle, acting president of Ingram Micro Mobility Latin America, said in a statement. "We are confident that the combination of our extensive infrastructure, unmatched logistics capabilities and the strength of our sales force will enable us to extend the current distribution network of BlackBerry's smartphone portfolio, while also opening previously untapped channels for them."
BlackBerry is in dire need to expand its customer base as the company lurches forward, its market share eroded by Apple's iPhone and a slew of popular smartphones running Google's Android operating system.
In September, BlackBerry released its dismal fiscal 2014 second-quarter fiscal earnings announcement—the company lost $965 million during the three months that ended Aug. 31 and brought in revenue of $1.6 billion—a free fall of 49 percent from the quarter before and 45 percent from a year ago.
To make matters worse, the company sold just 3.7 million BlackBerry smartphones during the quarter, most of them older devices running BlackBerry 7. BlackBerry OS version 10 was pegged by most analysts to be the company's best chance at survival, but sales—and reviews—of its handsets running the OS have been dismal.