US Senate Finally Abandons BlackBerry

BlackBerry-Roster1.pngIn the first smartphone boom at the start of the millennium, BlackBerry carved out a substantial market for itself. This was in part thanks to an official contract with the US Government that saw BlackBerry devices handed out to all Senate staffers. The brands devices became associated with high-powered Washington dealings, an image which filtered down to the business world and helped BlackBerry become the device of choice among professionals.

Since then, BlackBerry has faced a harsh environment, as bring your own device and iOS vs Android forced it into third place and lower. Now, its era may finally be truly over with the news that the US Senate will no longer be issuing BlackBerry devices to staff.

According to political blog Bomble, BlackBerrys devices lasted longer within the Senate thanks to their long battery life, email-heavy focus and physical keyboards, which enabled faster typing, along with the typical government slowness to adopt new technology.

An email to administrative managers, chief clerks and system administrators on Wednesday informed staffers of the change in policy, which will see the Senate exhaust its current stock of around 600 devices and then only order more to fulfill warranty exchanges.

Verizon, which along with AT&T, supplies the Senates devices, offered to suspend eligibility upgrade requirements for users who wished to migrate to Samsung S6 Android devices. Senate staffers can also apply for a free 16GB iPhone SE, although still have to meet a series of eligibility requirements.

The email also suggested that BlackBerry was discontinuing production of all of its BlackBerry OS 10 devices, although this has since been disputed by the company. The company recently celebrated a modest success with the launch of the BlackBerry Priv, its first device to use the Android operating system, rather than its own software.

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