U.S. Senate Stops Issuing BlackBerry Devices


The river of BlackBerry mobile devices has finally dried up in Washington D.C. According to a recent memo, Senate staffers will no longer receive any BlackBerry devices going forward—it's an Android and iPhone world on the hill now. BlackBerry will continue to support any devices still in use, but that's it.

"BlackBerry informed Verizon and AT&T that production of all BlackBerry OS 10 devices (Q10, Z10, Z30, Passport, and Classic) has been discontinued. Future carrier order fulfillment will not be guaranteed due to limited remaining stock. BlackBerry device support will continue for the foreseeable future. BlackBerry is committed to maintaining their support of our devices to include uninterrupted warranty and technical support," reads a memo sent out from the Sergeant at Arms office.

"Once we have exhausted our current in-house stock, new device procurements will be limited, while supplies last, to warranty exchanges only."

One curious wrinkle to the story is that BlackBerry itself is denying the claims that it is planning to stop producing BlackBerry OS 10 devices. According to the company, that's not quite accurate.

"The statement about discontinuation of BlackBerry 10 at AT&T and Verizon is incorrect. BlackBerry's device strategy is based on a cross-platform model where we'll continue to support our BlackBerry 10 platform while expanding our device offering to include Android-based devices. We are focused on software updates for BlackBerry 10, with version 10.3.3 scheduled for next month, and a second update to follow next year," reads a statement from BlackBerry, as reported by CrackBerry.

"Similar to many other device makers, we are changing the lineup of smartphones as we innovate and advance our portfolio. And, we are updating our smartphone lineup with state of the art devices. As part of this, and after many successful years in the market, we have informed our US carriers that the manufacturing cycle of only our BlackBerry Classic will cease. However, we have informed our customers to check with their respective carrier for device availability or purchase Classic unlocked online. We continue to actively support sales of our BlackBerry 10 smartphones to customers in most markets. And for customers choosing our Android device as their next smartphone, there will be a seamless transition without any compromise to the security of their mobile platform or operations."

It's unlikely that BlackBerry's news will change Capitol Hill's push toward Android and iOS devices. Currently, staffers have been told that Verizon will suspend eligibility upgrade requirements for those moving from a BlackBerry to a Samsung Galaxy S6, and the iPhone SE seems to have recently made its way onto the approved list as well.

That said, with around 600 or so BlackBerry devices still left in the Senate's inventory, it might take some time for holdouts to exhaust the remaining supply—unless, of course, some kind of edict is issued at a future point indicating that BlackBerry devices will no longer be supported, period.

Even President Obama himself ditched the presidential BlackBerry for an unnamed smartphone. White House staffers were also recently given permission to switch to iPhones.

Source: pcmag

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