As BlackBerry attempts to find its footing, government interest looks strong
Last week we took a look at the state of the US smartphone market. Apple, Samsung, and (to a lesser extent) LG were winners, while everyone else seemed to be on the downswing. BlackBerry, especially, showed dismal numbers, with its market share declining by more than half over the course of the previous year. We’ve been curious to see how BlackBerry tries to resurrect itself this time around, new CEO at the helm, and with a focus more on services than hardware. The platform’s always been strong in business and institutional settings, and today we see at least one sign of where BlackBerry’s still managing to shine, with the company’s phones dominating a new Defense Department project.
A new secure smartphone management system starts going into effect at the end of the month, and while some 1,800 Android and iOS devices will be connected, BlackBerry devices will far outnumber all others, as 80,000 of them, both old and new, are integrated.
Sure, a contract for sales of new devices might be preferable to seeing existing ones connected to a new government system, but the important takeaway here is just how committed certain groups of users are to BlackBerry’s platform – and even if carriers aren’t having much luck with BB10 at retail, there are these other outlets where those purchasing phones still see BlackBerry as a still worthwhile brand.
Update: So, you know how we were rather cautiously not treating that 80,000 figure as new BlackBerry orders? Turns out that was precisely the case, and the DoD is now making it extra clear that it’s not placing any new BlackBerry order – those 80,000 handsets represent existing phones.