In addition to not doing too well in the consumer market, BlackBerry may be in danger of losing some precious business and government contracts in the future. One of BlackBerry’s most faithful customers is exploring other options, The Wall Street Journal reports, with Android smartphones from Samsung and LG being currently tested by the White House’s internal technology team and the White House Communication Agency, which is a military unit in charge of the President’s communications.
However, BlackBerry devices will not be replaced immediately, as Android smartphones are in their early test stages, with any possible deployment still “months away.” It’s not clear what Android handsets are being tested at this time, but the Defense Department has confirmed the trials.
“We can confirm that the White House Communications Agency, consistent with the rest of the Department of Defense, is piloting and using a variety of mobile devices,” a spokesman said. Meanwhile, Samsung declined to comment on whether its devices are indeed tested within the White House, and LG said it had no knowledge of the matter.
The move may certainly a blow for BlackBerry, which is trying to win back government customers, a top priority for CEO John Chen. “For more than a decade, BlackBerry has been securing the U.S. government’s mobile communications and only BlackBerry is designed to meet the high-security needs of U.S. and allied government agencies,” a BlackBerry spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, Chen has met with White House officials to discuss “some of the stuff they like and some of the stuff they would like us to work on.”
A long-time BlackBerry user, President Barack Obama also uses an iPad “for reading.” However, the iPhone is not part of the current tests.