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Blackberry sells a million devices to a single buyer

By Rodney - March 17, 2013 3

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As Q1 2013 is drawing to a close, Blackberry has made a sudden and mysterious sale to a single, undisclosed, buyer – of 1 million handsets.

At the end of each quarter, investors eagerly await the sales figures for the last three months and probably no company (with the possible exception of Nokia) will be so closely watched this quarter as Blackberry. This quarter has seen the release of what many consider to be their last throw of the dice – the Blackberry 10 introductory range of handsets and poor sales figures could portent a very difficult time ahead indeed, for the company formerly known as Research in Motion.

So with that in mind, it’s “odd”, in the least, that suddenly someone  would suddenly step forward and buy a full and exact million handsets – and Blackberry won’t tell us who.

As the parent article points out, very, very few organisations around the world have anywhere near enough staff to require an order that large and basically none, government departments included (even Chinese or American ones), have enough people who they would actually give a handset to, in order to require so many devices (i.e. the US DoD has 3.2 million people on the payroll but they wouldn’t all get a company phone). It is possible a very, very large reseller, who is extremely confident in the brand, might buy that many, however that seems extremely unlikely. Why carry such a huge risk when they can simply order them as required? In the previous quarter, Blackberry did shift a few million handsets but for a single reseller to take on that level of inventory, at once, even for global sales seems exceptionally unlikely.

Blackberry is touting this as a huge vote of confidence in their brand – however is someone if so amazingly confident in Blackberry, why do they need to remain secret?

So the obvious question is, who bought these handsets and, more importantly from the point of view of investors, is something not quite above board going on, here? While it’s definitely possible there’s a good explanation and we’ll soon find out who the buyer was, the timing of the announcement and the secrecy about the buyer is also likely to raise questions.


Rodney's comes from a background of enterprise systems integration and now runs a cloud computing company. He has a love of all things Android and open and loves it when technology makes us amazed or excited. Rodney uses a Nokia 930 (Windows Phone) and a Samsung Galaxy 10.1.

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3 Responses to “Blackberry sells a million devices to a single buyer”

  1. Kumasi says:

    Nice try Rodney. However, the quarter that BlackBerry will be reporting sales figures for ended in February. That will only include 30 days of sales for BB10 devices. This million unit announcement will appear on the next quarters results, which will include 2 months of US sales. These facts make your ” Troll Bait ” article moot.

    Current score: 0 Kudos
    • Rodney says:

      I completely disagree. The point stands – why the secrecy? Until they come clean about it, questions will remain unanswered.

      Current score: 0 Kudos
      • Kumasi says:

        The gist of your article is about how “Blackberry has made a sudden and mysterious sale..” prior to quarterly results being announced. The first sentence clearly states “As Q1 2013 is drawing to a close…” You make a comparison to Nokia and their quarterly results. You do your best Sherlock Holmes impersonation by trying to solve the purchase mystery whodunit. You only end your piece by mentioning secrecy. BlackBerry is not set to announce quarterly results until March 28, 2013. If they were trying to influence investors, the announcement would have come much closer to the reveal date. The timing suggests that they were, just like Apple, trying to maintain mind share in advance of the Samsung G S IV announcement.
        I can somewhat agree about the secrecy, but non-disclosure agreements are commonplace. Nevertheless, your assertion this transaction may not be “above board” is ludicrous. Blatant disregard of facts to advance an agenda is not journalism. It is fanboyism.

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