More reports on: Telecom

US senate to no longer offer BlackBerry phone to staffers

02 July 2016

The US senate has received a notice stating that once the senate's inventory of BlackBerry handsets is depleted, the brand would no longer be available to those staff members who were allowed a new phone as a perk. Those staffers who currently owned a 'Berry could exchange it for a 16GB Apple iPhone SE or a Samsung Galaxy S6.

A letter sent to those affected by the decision, the senate's action came after BlackBerry informed Verizon and AT&T that it would no longer manufacture BlackBerry 10 OS powered handsets.

Staffers could still order the BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Classic, BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10. The senate's inventory mostly consists of the Classic and the Z30. Currently the senate held about 600 BlackBerry units in all, so those who wanted one could still get one.

This message was sent to administrative managers, chief clerks, and system administrators.

According to commentators, this was a significant moment in BlackBerry's history. At one time, the company used to dominate the mobile device market, thanks to its focus on security, email (from before messaging and social media took off) and a physical keyboard (the era before Swiftkey).

iOS and Android however, drew level with BlackBerry OS within a matter of years, sending the company's fortunes in a sharp decline and subsequent flirtations with bankruptcy.

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