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Samsung and LG are the chosen hardware makers for testing

The U.S. government was once a huge customer for BlackBerry, but many agencies started using rival devices running operating systems from the likes of Apple and Google -- and now the president may switch as well.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the White House is testing Android-powered phones made by Samsung and LG. Apple's iPhone is reportedly not involved in the pilot. 

The testing is in early stages, and it's not clear if President Barack Obama will actually switch from his modified BlackBerry. If he did, it would take months for the rollout to happen through the White House. 

"We can confirm that the White House Communications Agency, consistent with the rest of the Department of Defense, is piloting and using a variety of mobile devices," said a Defense Department spokesman.

Samsung also verified that it's working with the government, without giving any specific details. 

"We have seen strong interest from the government sector and are working closely with various agencies to deploy pilot programs," said a Samsung spokesman. 

However, BlackBerry is trying to hold on to its government contract since the Canadian mobile company failed to keep hold of the consumer smartphone market -- which it now only has 0.6 percent of in North America. 

[SOURCE: CrackBerry]

"For more than a decade, BlackBerry has been securing the U.S. government's mobile communications and only BlackBerry is designed to meet the high-security needs of U.S. and allied government agencies," said a BlackBerry spokeswoman.

But BlackBerry seems to continue losing government customers. For instance, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ditched their BlackBerrys in May 2012 in favor of iPhones. Immigration and Customs Enforcement followed suit in September, and in October, the Defense Department left its BlackBerrys behind and chose to go with Android and Apple devices instead. Later in November of that year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced that it was dropping its BlackBerry smartphones for a new fleet of iPhone 5s.

This all happened after a huge blackout that occurred in October 2011. For four days, BlackBerry users from around the world completely lost their messaging, browsing and email services. These three features are key to any business (or consumer) user, and proved to be a huge mark on RIM's record. RIM blamed the service troubles on an extremely critical network failure during a system upgrade
In March 2013, BlackBerry 10 (BB10) -- the company's latest mobile operating system -- failed to pass security requirements for the UK government.  

More recently, the FBI said it was looking to dump BlackBerry for Android-powered Samsung phones.

The situation is made worse with the company's recent financial losses. In Q4 2013, the company reported a $4.4 billion USD loss and only shipped 1.9 million smartphones. 

But BlackBerry CEO John Chen seems to stay in good spirits despite the current situation, cracking jokes about selling BlackBerry for the price Facebook paid for WhatsApp, and calling iPhone users "wall huggers."

Lets hope that sense of humor can win BlackBerry some customers back -- namely the president. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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I remember...
By MrBlastman on 3/21/2014 1:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
A time when government buildings were concrete structures that looked plain, boring and functional. Inside they weren't lavish. The desks were bare with stacks of paper to one side. The workers were efficient and did exactly as instructed. Government worked briskly all while trying to keep costs low.

Then something happened. Perhaps it was at the Argonne National Laboratory or possibly, during the testing of the Tevatron a freak accident occurred. Rumor has it Stephen Hawking was visiting the Chicago area around the mid-1970s and some of his neural positrons irradiated the protonic flow of the sub-nucleic containment field generators and caused a partial wave-function collapse, leading to an inevitable bosal-fermion melding of the spacetime gravitational wave construct rendering a high-value Lorentz collision spinning our geopolitical construct into a exponentially sloped, antimatter induced spacetime negative curve.

Whatever it was, something eerie happened that day. Now I know what you're thinking... You are thinking, "But Blastman, I know, I know!"

But you don't.

But still, you insist, "I was there. It was red. Red everywhere. And then, out of the mist, he burst through the field shouted HEY HEY! The Kool-Aid man is here!"

And I insist you were wrong.

No, on that day of quantum perturbations, when Ed Witten hadn't even hatched M-Theory (It was percolating in his mind, I'm sure), Hawking Radiation won out and the worst of the worst happened. Out of some strange vortex, quantum teleportation failed and transposed a disentangled version of Jimmy Carter! And out he walked gingerly and the rest is history.

Pork? Pork? Where? It is everywhere! The boogieman hath cometh and now spendeth our multidimensional currency (it has to come from somewhere, right? The first law of currency dynamics says money cannot be created nor destroy--err, sorry, the Bitcoin cascade violated the theorem already).

Okay, where was I?

Oh yes, Jimmy Ca--err the Boogieman. Well, anyways. We all know how it has turned out. And nuclear, astro and string theorists alike are all crying in a dark cave somewhere while the particle physicists laugh maniacally knowing as soon as the higgs field is mastered, America will be theirs!

Oh, this article was about phones. Sorry. I'll make sure I phone home immediately as I'm obviously from outer space. ;)

RE: I remember...
By SlickRoenick on 3/21/2014 1:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
<crickets chirping>

RE: I remember...
By Belegost on 3/21/2014 1:28:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well that ranks as one of the least cogent things I have read this month - the dadaist in me applauds.

RE: I remember...
By Lord 666 on 3/21/2014 7:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
Its MrBlastman's attempt of sharing his science fiction writing.

RE: I remember...
By MrBlastman on 3/21/2014 9:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
If only it were close. :)

RE: I remember...
By TheSchnoz on 3/24/2014 1:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
RE: I remember...
By Cannyone on 3/24/2014 4:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
I was about to inquire if you intended to bogart that joint...?

By msheredy on 3/21/2014 12:39:35 PM , Rating: 3
... he's using a Blackberry. Sorta explains the state our country is in doesn't it.

RE: Wow...
By aurareturn on 3/21/2014 12:51:37 PM , Rating: 4
He's been using BB since he before he entered the office.

Hey, you have to complain about something right? At least he's not wasting money asking to switch to the latest and greatest so often.

RE: Wow...
By Nutzo on 3/21/2014 4:16:54 PM , Rating: 3
He's been using a BB (and a modified BB at that) because nothing else is considered secure enough.

I'm suprised he hasn't signed an executive order giving himself, and his family gold plated iPhones.

RE: Wow...
By ritualm on 3/21/2014 5:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite. The NSA/DoD tried having him use purpose-built secure wireless devices i.e. Sectera Edge, but Obama insisted he be able to use his BB. The "secure" issue is mostly a worry at Fort Meade. BB was routinely used by government staffers all the way to Al Gore back then.

They eventually reached a compromise, where the man keeps his BB, but he's bound to a very severe set of restrictions. Less than a dozen people go on his BB's contact list, and all sent/received information with it is subject to the Presidential Records Act.

RE: Wow...
By msheredy on 3/21/14, Rating: 0
RE: Wow...
By Spookster on 3/21/14, Rating: 0
I Doubt Obama Even Knows How to Use A Smart Phone
By Arsynic on 3/21/2014 3:04:51 PM , Rating: 5
He probably has an advisor just for that. Everything about this guy is fake and scripted.

By RedemptionAD on 3/22/2014 7:33:39 AM , Rating: 2
All of politics and public figures has been largely scripted for centuries. The public expects a larger than life persona and smooth image in their public figures, and holds them to a much higher standard than themselves. President Obama is doing nothing more than what the public expects, if you want reality from them, then set the expectations to that level otherwise you are getting what you ask for. Politics and being a public figure is a popularity contest.
As far as the article is concerned he probably knows how to use a blackberry very well given his pre-presidency usage other options represent an ecosystem shift and can be a difficult shift to make, which is partly why he hasn't shifted to another platform.

Who cares
By Ristogod on 3/21/2014 1:40:08 PM , Rating: 2
Why does it matter what phone one guy uses?

RE: Who cares
By Ticholo on 3/21/2014 2:29:38 PM , Rating: 4
It matters because he could butt-dial the Nuclear Armageddon.

Way to snub to Canada for Korea
By stm1185 on 3/21/2014 4:22:41 PM , Rating: 2
And not buy American! Booooo.

By Jim_Liquor on 3/22/2014 7:33:13 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get it. The worst president since Carter may actually want to use a successful phone platform? Weird. I figured he just liked failure. A lot.

Hey Obama!
By jbwhite99 on 3/24/2014 10:36:21 AM , Rating: 2
What about Motorola?

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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