Canadian Manufacturing

U.S. Defense Department deploying 80,000 BlackBerry smart phones

The disclosure shows the U.S. government still considers the Waterloo, Ont.-based company part of its stringent security infrastructure



TORONTO—Embattled smartphone company BlackBerry received a vote of confidence from the U.S. Department of Defense, which said it will deploy 80,000 BlackBerrys on its new mobile device management system by the end of this month.

The number represents about 98 per cent of the initial haul of devices, which includes another 1,800 other devices like Apple’s iPad, iPhone and tablets and phones on the Android operating system.

The disclosure last week also shows the U.S. government still considers the Waterloo, Ont.-based company part of its stringent security infrastructure.

Both Google and Apple have dedicated more time to growing their position with government agencies and corporations with their own enterprise software.

A note from analysis firm Citron Research has urged Wall Street investors to reconsider their view of BlackBerry as a struggling smartphone maker.

“It is (our) opinion that it is suicidal to bet against well-capitalized strong management in the enterprise mobile space,” said the research firm in a note.

“The reality is (BlackBerry) has a healthy balance sheet, with ample liquidity to execute its turnaround strategy and make the necessary investments for growth,” Citron Research added.

The report focused primarily on the hiring of John Chen as Blackberry’s new chief executive, and it firm’s belief that there’s a misperception about the company’s business strategy.

Citron said analysts are too focused on BlackBerry as a hardware provider and not enough on its intention to develop software for the business community.

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