BlackBerry receives order for 2,000 Q10 smartphones from broadcaster Univision

WATERLOO, Ont. – Smartphone maker BlackBerry (TSX:BB) says it has received an order for 2,000 new keyboard smartphones from Hispanic broadcaster Univision Communications.

The Waterloo, Ont.,-based company says the order for the BlackBerry Q10 devices will upgrade all of the BlackBerry phones used by employees at Univision.

Univision is one of the largest broadcast networks in the United States, owning more than 60 local broadcast TV stations and nearly 70 radio stations that broadcast primarily in Spanish.

BlackBerry has spent much of its marketing efforts on securing longtime business customers with orders of its new phones that operate on an updated BlackBerry 10 operating system. The move is part of a strategy to help slow the number of defectors to a growing number of competitor’s phones, including Apple’s iPhone, devices on the Android operating system and others.

Earlier this month, BlackBerry’s new phones passed what the company called a “critical step forward in the security certification process” by the U.S. Department of Defence, which give them permission to operate on the Pentagon’s networks.

Despite its efforts, BlackBerry is still struggling to retain a notable market share. In the U.S., the recent launch of its touchscreen and keyboard BlackBerry 10 devices have been perceived as a sales flop.

A report from U.K.-based Juniper Research said the company is also starting to lose market share in parts of the world where it once had a certain stronghold, like South Africa and Indonesia.

As part of an effort to turn around its operations, BlackBerry has been trying to reduce expenses across its operations. The effort has seen the company cut thousands of jobs over the past year, from lower-level employees to executives. The latest reduction came earlier this month when it laid off about 100 workers.

The company is also in the midst of a review of its “strategic alternatives,” which could result in the sale of its operations or an agreement to take the company private.

BlackBerry shares were ahead 19 cents at $11.05 near midday Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.