Bye-bye, BlackBerry: Senate makes a switch

- Allana Akhtar

The U.S. Senate is finally making the switch from BlackBerry to Android or iPhone, a change most of us made years ago.

After a decade of being issued BlackBerry devices, Senate staff will no longer receive new phones, according to a memo from the Senate sergeant-at-arms sent last week to administra­tive managers, chief clerks and system administra­tors that was posted by Politico and blogger Jim Swift.

The reason, according to the memo: BlackBerry told telecom carriers Verizon and AT&T that production of all Blackberry OS 10 devices (Q10, Z10, Z30, Passport and Classic) is being discontinu­ed and future fulfillmen­t can’t be guaranteed.

Staffers can use the remaining phones in stock and will receive uninterrup­ted warranty and technical support for the “fore- seeable future,” the memo said.

In a statement to USA TODAY, BlackBerry said it’s stopping production of only the Classic.

“We have informed our U.S. carriers that the manufactur­ing cycle of only our BlackBerry Classic will cease” while “we continue to actively support sales of our BlackBerry 10 smartphone­s to customers in most markets.”

“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,” it said.

The BlackBerry has long fallen out of fashion for most smartphone users, forcing a management shake-up at the Canadian tech company, rounds of layoffs and a turnaround strategy focused on secure software.

Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry sold 500,000 phones in the three months ending May 31. In contrast, Apple sold 51 million iPhones in its latest quarter.

It’s not clear what fate awaits the House’s BlackBerry loyalists.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States