Canadian Tire Places Record Order of New BlackBerry Models

BlackBerry has recently received a large order for 3,000 of its BlackBerry 10 smartphones from a corporate consumer, Canadian Tire Corp., which seems to be the biggest corporate purchase for the devices on record. The sporting-goods and auto-parts retailer, Canadian Tire, has programmed to start issuing the touch-screen Z10 and newer Q10 models to their employees later this month at its namesake superstores, along with the employees of its financial-services unit and Sport Chek and Sports Experts chains.

BlackBerry was expecting several large corporate orders for the Z10 and Q10, which includes a physical keyboard, for fueling the sales recovery and regaining the market share it lost to Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Even though critics have applauded Z10 for its multitasking software and virtual keyboard, BlackBerry shares have reportedly fallen due to concern over its sales and marketing by mobile-phone carriers. Waterloo-based BlackBerry shares rose 1 percent to $13.63 at noon in New York. The stocks were lessened by 25 percent yesterday, due to hitting a peak closing price this year of $17.90 on Jan. 22.

A spokesperson for BlackBerry, Krista Seggewiss, refused to comment on whether the Canadian Tire deal was the biggest BlackBerry 10 order announced by a corporate customer. However, BlackBerry has previously disclosed that it sold more than 1 million Z10 phones last quarter, which was almost in accordance to analyst estimates. The Z10 went on sale in the U.S. in late March, after becoming available more than six weeks earlier in the U.K. and Canada.

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