The BlackBerry smartphone has been the device of choice for the United States of America's Senate for over a decade. Both Senators and their staff have used the BlackBerry device to handle emails, with the source website noting that the BlackBerry keyboard was easier and faster to use than early touchscreen keyboards. We need to also mention how robust and secure the BlackBerry infrastructure is and how it has taken the best part of a decade for its competition to catch up, if not in terms of technology but in terms of having the necessary security credentials for devices. However, over time, BlackBerry's dominance on the smartphone market has weakened. The company struggled to compete compared to the newer touchscreen generation of devices from Apple and, later, Google. We've already seen how the United States President has replaced his BlackBerry with what is believed to be a secure Samsung Galaxy S4. Last week, Senators were informed that they would no longer be provided with new BlackBerry devices except for replacements.
An email was sent to key staff associated with the Senate IT to inform them that the BlackBerry era was coming to a conclusion: the email explained that BlackBerry had told both AT&T and Verizon Wireless that the company had stopped making all BlackBerry OS 10 devices (these being the Q10, Z10, Z30, Passport and Classic). The email went on to detail the stock levels of current BlackBerry models, numbering a little way over 600 as at the end of June. Once stocks of these models have run out, Senate staffers will only be able to arrange warranty replacement devices. As for BlackBerry ceasing production of the BlackBerry 10 models, the Canadian smartphone company has refuted this decision – it may have been a poor choice of words, or perhaps the company has not quite yet discontinued BlackBerry 10 models? BlackBerry will continue to support their devices for the time being, which is good news for those Senators not wishing to replace their BlackBerry handsets just yet.
The email detailed how Verizon has agreed to suspend upgrade requirements for users moving to the Samsung Galaxy S6 device and the 16 GB iPhone SE has been added to the list of compatible devices, but eligibility criteria apply and mandatory AppleCare+ insurance must be bought. And so it would seem that over the next few months, the Senate will start the process of moving away from BlackBerry – something that has already been reflected in the enterprise market with more and more companies using the Apple iOS and Google Android competition.