BlackBerry has been White House’s official mobile communications partner for over a decade now, but according to recent reports, that’s going to change in the coming months. It is said that the US Government is looking for BlackBerry alternatives, with possible manufacturers including the South Korean giants, Samsung and LG.
Blackberry has lost majority of its users in the North American market and the company is not doing so well with many internal changes and bad financials. However, even during bad times, the US Government has been one of the few dedicated customers of the company.
So, it would be a big blow for the company if it loses this contract to rivals like Samsung.
While the White House does not confirm of talks with specific companies, it does say that the Government is piloting and using different mobile devices. A person familiar with the matter says that the tests are still in the initial stages and these agencies have not yet started using such devices. So, it may still take months for agencies to replace existing BlackBerry handsets.
While BlackBerry is known for its encrypted and highly secure network, agencies have started preferring Android over BB. This is mainly because Android has been working closely with several third party security software providers who have been able to make the OS relatively secure. If White House is looking for Android handset makers, naturally Samsung would be on top of the list.
Samsung has already bagged a contract with the US Army for the supply of Android smartphones and the company has invested a lot to win government contracts too. Further, being the largest smartphone maker in the world, the company can put pressure on Blackberry using its vast resources.
Apple too has been eyeing to secure government contracts in the recent years, which is further endangering the position of Blackberry in this sector. While President Obama has confirmed that he uses an iPad for reading, the source did not say whether Apple was one of possible replacements for the BlackBerry.
Naturally, Blackberry will have to do something to strengthen its existing contracts with the government and in this regard, many changes have been made in the company’s management. According to the new CEO, getting back this contract is Blackberry’s top priority.
While these reports come from a highly trusted source, both Samsung and LG have declined to confirm such talks.
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