Updated: Pentagon Orders 80,000 BlackBerry Handsets

News of the orders shot BlackBerry shares up 9% Tuesday.

Updated: Pentagon Orders 80,000 BlackBerry Handsets
[Image: Flickr user michael baird]

For BlackBerry, it’s time for plan C. After a $4.7 billion acquisition deal with Fairfax Financial fell through and the Canadian smartphone maker failed to court another buyer, BlackBerry has snagged a contract with the Pentagon to install 80,000 BlackBerry handsets.

The Pentagon intends to use the BlackBerry phones, as well as 1,800 Apple and Samsung mobile devices, for unclassified work. Since its botched attempt to find a buyer, the ailing Waterloo, Ontario-based company is focusing on its enterprise and government businesses. News of the Pentagon order shot BlackBerry shares up to just over $10 Tuesday morning. As of this posting, BlackBerry is up 9.5% to $9.94.

Update: The Pentagon released a statement Thursday clarifying that it had not purchased any new BlackBerry devices, and the 80,000 handsets referred to its existing inventory. “Absolutely no new orders have been placed for new BB devices. The DISA press release put out Jan. 16 never alluded to any devices being purchased. The 80,000 BBs and 1,800 non-BB devices referenced in the release are legacy systems already in DoD inventories,” the Department of Defense said in a statement to The Verge.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.



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