It looks as though the BlackBerry belonging to Barack Obama is ready to be ditched in favor of an Android operated phone in the next few months. The White House is in the process of testing multiple new cells from manufacturers LG and Samsung with the intention of eventually using them for official internal communication.
Before election Obama equipped himself with a personal BlackBerry for his mobile communication requirements, but since taking office in 2009 this was inevitably replaced with a highly secure custom-made model, although what with the NSA’s reputation for disregarding privacy one can assume that no phone in the world is completely tap-proof.
Bosses at BlackBerry will no doubt be reeling from this revelation, as the US government has been one of its most dependable sources of income for years. Given the company’s recent difficulties in competing with other smartphone providers, it can come as no surprise that the president is looking to leave its dwindling group of supporters.
What is slightly surprising however, is that of all the new phones being considered for Obama, the iPhone still isn’t one of them. The Democratic Party leader has been an admirer of Apple’s flagship product for years, and recently bemoaned the fact that he wasn’t allowed to have one for security reasons. In fact he was initially advised that having any cell phone at all was a bad idea, but eventually compromised on his current handheld with the most stringent of protection features and the ability to call only 10 specific people.
If the BlackBerry is ditched by Obama, it will be months before he can obtain its replacement, as uncompromising rules surrounding the president’s smartphone will take a very long time for any manufacturer to replicate in one of their offerings. Whichever one is decided upon will be completely different from its commercially available counterpart.
Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the 44th President of the United States. He is the first African-American to be voted in and was re-elected in 2012, ensuring that he remains in the Oval Office until 2017. He has placed particular emphasis on fighting income inequality, dealing with global warming, and reforming the American education system during his second term.
Upon learning of the news, BlackBerry released a statement in which they recapitulated their status as the only company able to meet security demands of the government. The statement went on to read that Samsung and LG still have “a long way to go” to level BlackBerry’s certifications, and then played down the White House’s recent tests on different smartphones, saying “Governments test new technologies frequently, but nevertheless the U.S. government continues to choose BlackBerry for its unmatched security and cost effectiveness.”
CEO John Chen has prioritized regaining a commanding hold on government contracts as part of the company’s revival scheme, and only a few weeks ago held talks with the White House in an attempt to dissuade them from looking elsewhere. He might soon find product sales fall even further if BlackBerry is ultimately ditched by Obama.
Opinion by Zachary John