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BlackBerry goes global with Brightpoint

by Stuart Wilson, Saturday 3 May 2008

Wireless device distribution behemoth Brightpoint has announced a global master distribution agreement with Research In Motion (RIM) – the maker of BlackBerry smartphones. The two companies are still slightly cagey on the precise terms of the agreement, stating that, ‘Brightpoint may distribute RIM products to various territories globally that may include North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia, and Asia-Pacific’.

Under the terms of the deal, Brightpoint will support a wide range of RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones, assisting in the global expansion and penetration of BlackBerry products and services. Brightpoint claims that it now has an expansive customer base of more than 25,000 business-to-business channel partners globally.

Brightpoint is a global leader in the distribution of wireless devices and in providing customised logistic services to the wireless industry. In 2007, Brightpoint handled approximately 83 million wireless devices globally. Brightpoint’s services include distribution, channel development, fulfilment, product customisation, e-business solutions and other outsourced services.

The company has approximately 3,300 employees in more than 25 countries. In 2007 Brightpoint generated revenue of US$4.3 billion and profits of US$47.

CE ANALYSIS: Brightpoint’s product portfolio reads like a Who’s Who of the global smartphone and wireless device vendors. Company analysts following Brightpoint reckon that a deal with Apple to distribute the iPhone could be the next business goal for ambitious Brightpoint.

The deal with RIM is intriguing in terms of the impact it has on the vendor’s relationship with existing partners in the territories that the new agreement ‘may’ cover. For example, Emitac Mobile Solutions (EMS) has played a key role in broadening RIM awareness and availability in the Middle East in its role as strategic channel partner for the vendor.

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