Blackberry Announces One-Million Unit Order

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Blackberry issued an announcement this week that “one of its established partners has placed an order for one million BlackBerry 10 smartphones.” The firm gave insight into neither the type of organization (corporation, government, or wireless carrier) that placed the order, nor the partner’s geographical location. Blackberry indicated that shipments are starting immediately, but our hunch is that it may take months for the order to be entirely fulfilled.

Until there is more clarity about the partner, analysts are skeptical that any corporation would make such a large order. Thus, our best guess would be either a large government (likely the U.S., which has 4.4 million federal employees), or a wireless carrier in any of a variety of locations, but possibly in the U.S. as the Blackberry Z10 just became available for pre-order in the U.S.

Shipments to the U.S. government would be viewed as a greater positive, as that would actually translate into getting BB devices into the hands of customers and would indicate at least some modest BB10 acceptance.

If the partner is an order commitment from a wireless carrier, we would see the news as inconsequential, as such a commitment would be relatively small in the grand scheme of the smartphone market, plus sell-in to a carrier may not necessarily translate to sell-through to consumers.

Ultimately, analysts are viewing the news as a way for Blackberry to make headlines and steal some thunder away from Samsung’s highly publicized Galaxy S IV launch on Thursday evening.

Given Samsung’s recent advertising push in the U. S. regarding enterprise security, at this point, we view the headline as a shot fired back at Samsung, rather than a meaningful data point that would change any long-term thesis for the firm, or even any short-term view regarding Z10 adoption.

 

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