US govt ditches BlackBerry smartphones for Samsung, Apple

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Canadian tech company BlackBerry has had a bit of a turbulent 2016. Sure, stocks are up marginally, and its YoY loss less than expected, but it has had to rework its image as a smartphone-first company.

After it announced that its future phones will arrive with Android instead of its BlackBerry OS, the company has been forced to defend the latter. But even so, one extremely important company isn’t going to chase waterfalls.

What company, you ask? Just the United States government.

The company’s phone were long seen as the most secure devices, with current President Obama often waving his around in public. Now, Senate has pushed a notice to all beneath its wing suggesting that it will no longer offer BlackBerry devices. These devices include the Passport, Classic, Q10, Z10 and Z30.

Staffers will be given a new choice of the Apple iPhone SE or Samsung Galaxy S6.

Related: Facebook to drop BlackBerry OS app support by end of 2016

Although this is yet another hit for BlackBerry, it makes sense to drop a seemingly dead horse for the US Senate. Companies like Facebook have already expressed their desires to cease app development for BlackBerry OS devices by the end of 2016.

Regardless, the company remains defiant, suggesting that it’s no longer just a smartphone company.

Despite my best efforts to tell the world I’m a lot more than just a phone company, every question I ever get is about phones,” CEO John Chen told Reuters last week.

While BlackBerry does license security software to the likes of Samsung in the form of KNOX and multi-platform BES 12, if the above was the case, why are you planning three more smartphones before the end of 2016, Mr Chen?

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