BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) announced with much fanfare earlier this month that an unnamed, "established" partner placed an order for 1 million BlackBerry 10 smartphones, the company's largest single order ever. Though the company has declined to name the purchaser, it is wireless device distributor Brightstar, according to an AllThingsD report.
The report, citing unnamed sources, said that Brightstar is behind the deal, not rival Brightpoint.
BlackBerry and Brightstar declined to comment, according to AllThingsD. BlackBerry CEO Thortsen Heins explained that the company is bound by a confidentiality agreement not to name the purchaser.
"A couple of years ago, Nokia (NYSE:NOK), RIM and Samsung made up over 80 percent of Brightstar revenues, with RIM potentially comprising nearly half of that, I believe," Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair told AllThingsD. "So [this is] no surprise."
Brightstar supplies phones and distribution services to a wide range of customers, including Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA, Virgin Mobile, TracFone Wireless and others. Thus, it makes sense that the company would be making large BlackBerry purchases rather than a single wireless carrier. The action is important for BlackBerry since the company faces an uphill battle in gaining market share and attention from consumers.
The purchase "is the biggest ever in BlackBerry history and we are really happy with the vote of confidence," Heins told the Australian Financial Review earlier this month. "This is huge, those customers take on inventory and a financial risk, and in doing this it shows that they have a very strong belief that they can be successful with BlackBerry 10."
So far BB10 sales appear to have gotten off to a slow start AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) stores, according to analysts and media reports, but Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile USA will also start selling the BlackBerry Z10 by the end of the month.
BlackBerry reports quarterly results March 28 and its early BB10 sales--in more than 25 markets--are sure to be hot topics on the company's earnings conference call.
- see this AllThingsD article
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