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The US Senate is dumping Blackberry 10 devices as the mobile phone of choice for its staff. The US Senate has being one of the biggest and the most loyal customers of Blackberry 10 devices.

Blackberry, BB 10 OS, US Senate

Workers in the US Senate received a note/memo early last week about the discontinuation of the use of BB10 devices as the official handset of members of staff.

The Memo titled, ‘Blackberry Discontinuation’  read in part:

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

If you read to the end of the memo, the last paragraph provided tips for any staff wishing to transit to a different handset. With specific mentions to Samsung flagship devices and  iPhones. I guess, the US Senate would become another battle front between Samsung and iPhone. After all, getting a slice of the US Senate is like an endorsement at the highest levels. Almost directly telling the world that, ‘Hey! look, this handset is the most secure device for carrying out important law-making business.’

For the wider world and for Blackberry in particular, this latest blow did not come as a big surprise. Just like the memo stated, Blackberry has decide to stop making the devices. The news was all the rave last April when Blackberry officially announced that it was ending the production of phones using its own OS.

Blackberry, BB 10 OS, US Senate
Blackberry Priv

However, even that news was not even a surprised to many. Since Blackberry decided to follow up its first Android Phone, Blackberry Priv, with two more mid-level budget Android devices this year, the handwriting was already on the wall. And this writing was so clear, only die-hard fans of the device refused to accept that the Blackberry OS is finally dead.

Even the Android-based blackberry devices have no guarantee of being around in the foreseeable future. This future could be as early as next year.

The clear sign was the financial results that showed that Blackberry did not break even with the Priv. And that was a phone the company gambled on to bring it back from the brink.

Apparently, most people felt the Priv was too expensive to waste money on. Now, Blackberry is banking on the new Android devices. The hope is that, the reduced price and the iconic brand name would pull people back into buying Blackberry Android devices.

Blackberry, BB 10 OS, US Senate
Blackberry Android

In a competitive global handset markets when the Chinese are coming up with cheap devices with high-end specs, it would be surprising if Blackberry can recover a modest slice of the market it lost as the number maker of smartphones few years ago.

Even the blow from the US Senate is not that big. The biggest blows cane first from WhatsApp which decided it would end all support for Blackberry OS and other old operating systems by the end of the year. The last has not being heard of that.

And the last has certainly not being heard about the Facebook app on Blackberry. Right now, BB10 and other Blackberry devices are using a compromised Facebook app. This was after Facebook also threatened to end support for Blackberry devices.

There is something so inevitable about all this. Blackberry phones are going under. Just like it happened to Nokia, the demise would be slow and painful. But it would still happen.

Blackberry, BB 10 OS, US Senate
John Chen

However, Mr Cheng has being trying to make people understand that Blackberry is more than just a mobile handset maker. Reminding people about the softwares the company make, so the death of handset making is not necessarily the death of Blackberry as a company.


photo credit: indiatoday.in; theverge.com; extremetech.com; cbc.ca