BlackBerry Gets Order From German Customer for 1,000 Smartphones

BlackBerry Ltd. (BB), seeking to show that its handset business can still attract customers, said a German technology company is upgrading to its Enterprise Service 10 system and will purchase more than 1,000 phones.

Datev, a provider of software and technology services to tax advisers, auditors and lawyers, is a longtime customer and cited the security of BlackBerry devices in its decision to stick with the technology, according to a statement today. Terms of the contract weren’t disclosed.

“Our employees use their mobile devices to conduct confidential business, and require a reliable smartphone that can secure the transmission of business data,” said Wolfgang Fischer, who oversees the mobile technology group at Nuremberg-based Datev.

BlackBerry’s share of the smartphone market tumbled to less than 2 percent last year, spurring speculation that the company would stop selling devices and focus on software and services. Instead, Chief Executive Officer John Chen forged a partnership with Foxconn Technology Group to outsource much of the company’s production.

Chen said in an interview this month that BlackBerry would refocus on keyboard-equipped phones -- the kind popular with lawyers and professionals -- following weak sales of its touch-screen models.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Turner in New York at nturner7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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