updated 06:24 pm EDT, Wed March 13, 2013
Company's anticipated quarterly earnings due in two weeks
According to the company, Blackberry has received an order for one million of its new phones, marking its largest order ever received in the company's history. The company hasn't announced who placed the order, but did say that it came from one of its existing partners. On the news, the company's shares have risen $0.74, about five percent, in after-hours trading.
Given the sheer number of devices, the most likely partner is the Canadian government. Other possible candidates include the Indian or Israeli governments, but it would point to a significant increase in needed devices. US Government procurement is done on an agency basis, and the largest candidate is the Department of Defense at 440,000 devices. The one million number cited by Blackberry would represent more than a doubling of the currently installed base. Barring a truly massive increase in needed phones, no other current institutional user of the device even comes close.
News about the Ontario-based smartphone manufacturer has been mixed. The company CEO is reportedly very pleased with early adoption numbers, but other high-profile implementation plans like the Department of Defense testing of the new OS and hardware have hit some snags. The first quarterly earnings statement after the BlackBerry 10 OS hardware and software release is due March 28.