The Artist Formerly Known As BlackBerry Now Approved For NATO Deployment

BlackBerry announced today that its Enterprise Service and BlackBerry 10 handsets have been approved by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to handle classified communications up to the level of “Restricted.”

The new certification theoretically allows BlackBerry to sell its new smartphones to 28 member countries’ NATO workers. The question is whether there is demand for its hardware among those nations.

There might not be. Here’s TechCrunch’s Chris Velazco on how BlackBerry managed to lose almost a billion dollars on under $2 billion in revenue:

“[T]he total GAAP loss from continuing operations came in at $965 million, right in the middle of the company’s forecasted range. The big culprit? A hefty writedown (think around $934 million) incurred thanks in large part to a glut of unsold BlackBerry Z10s.”

BlackBerry is a troubled company on the cusp of accepting a buyout offer for $9 per share that will see it head private for about $4.7 billion. The company’s most recent earnings report saw it lose a stunning $965 million on $1.6 billion in revenue.

Prior to this certification, BlackBerry was drowning under insufficient demand. In fact, that Z10 writedown was larger than the infamous Microsoft Surface writedown that totaled $900 million. The Microsoft loss has been deemed by some as partial reason for the exit of current CEO Steve Ballmer.

So, well done BlackBerry on the certification. Let us know if anyone wants a Z10.

As an aside, here’s the first line of BlackBerry’s own corporate explainer: “A global leader in wireless innovation, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999.” Can you spot what is wrong?