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BlackBerry back to business as German government agrees to deploy 5,000 smartphones

by Doug Drinkwater

March 5 2013

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced the new Z10 smartphone at the end of January
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced the new Z10 smartphone at the end of January

Whisper it quietly, but all may not be lost for BlackBerry on the business front. The company has just received a contract to roll-out 5,000 Z10 smartphones to the German government.

AllThingsD reports that the contract was approved by Germany’s information security office this week, in a move which should see 5,000 BlackBerry touchscreen smartphones come to civil servants and other government staff in the coming weeks.

The Z10 will be fitted with Secusmart micro-SD card technology to add security features like data encryption and secure voice and text messaging.

This news comes at a time where enterprises have been slowly moving away from BlackBerry (renamed from Research in Motion) to competitors like Apple’s iPhone and iPad and Microsoft’s Windows 8. That trend has also stretched to government, with the U.S. government recently committing to supporting iPads and iPhones over BlackBerry devices.

The British government is also reported to have been trialling iOS 6 devices for use in government.

On announcing the Z10 and the new BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system just a month ago, CEO Thorsten Heins hinted that the company could decide to make tablets again, despite its lack of success with the 7-inch PlayBook.

Heins did add at the time however that he needs to know that a future tablet can be profitable. “If the hardware doesn't provide the margins I need, then it makes no sense in doing it."

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