Univision Buys 2,000 BlackBerry Q10 Smartphones

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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BlackBerry celebrates relatively minor deal with US Spanish language broadcaster for BlackBerry Q10 smartphones

BlackBerry is keen to show it’s business as usual, announcing a deal with US Spanish language broadcaster Univision to supply it with 2,000 BlackBerry Q10 smartphones.

The deal is a minor one, especially when compared to the one million BlackBerry 10 devices it apparently sold to a mystery buyer earlier this year, but BlackBerry is making a point of the fact it is still selling smartphones to corporate customers despite admitting it is considering putting itself up for sale.

The BlackBerry Q10 is one of three BlackBerry 10 smartphones to have been released and boasts a full QWERTY keyboard in addition to a 3.5-inch touchscreen.

BlackBerry Q10

BlackBerry Q10 SideUnivision, which operates 60 local television stations and nearly 70 radio stations in the US, said it was using BlackBerry 10 because of the security and enterprise benefits of the platform which will improve the mobility of its workers.

“The new BlackBerry 10 operating system is an enterprise-friendly and enterprise-ready platform for getting things done,” said Univision CIO Christopher Furst. “BlackBerry has listened to the functionality we have asked for and continues to develop products that enable Univision to support employees working remotely.”

Univision has also agreed to create BlackBerry 10 applications, something which BlackBerry will hope increases the appeal of its handsets to Hispanics. According to the firm, 75 percent of the US Hispanic population own a smartphone and the consumption of online video has risen 282 percent in the last 12 years.

BlackBerry boost

Univision will provide 1000 hours of content in both Spanish and English in its applications, which will be a boost given it has emerged that one developer is responsible for 47,000 of the 127,000 applications on BlackBerry World.

“At BlackBerry, our goal is to arm enterprise customers such as Univision with a mobile platform that keeps them moving and connected to their business,” said Stephen Bates, Senior Vice President of Global Enterprise Accounts at BlackBerry. “Univision has an international, fast-paced workforce and that’s why they chose BlackBerry 10 as their mobile device platform.”

Once considered the leader in smartphones, BlackBerry has seen its market share eroded by the likes of iOS and Android, which have also closed the gap in in the administration and security features desired by corporate customers.

BlackBerry’s value has fallen from a 2008 peak of $84 billion (£54b) to $4.8 billion (£3.1b) in recent times, while it posted a £55 million loss in its most recent quarterly results.

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