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Blackberry faltering but still Obama’s favourite

Research In Motion used to dominate the market, but in recent years they have been struggling to compete against Apple and the raft of Android phones available to consumers. In the last year their sales figures have been continually dropping and the CEO’s have stepped down. Even in their homeground of Canada, they have been knocked off the top as the leading smartphone maker.

Their new focus is back to ‘business’, literally. They have decided to drop the consumer market completely.

The story is very different in Washington however, and the Washington Post have written an interesting article about it. President Obama and his staff all use the Blackberry handsets. According to the report, they are as strong as ever with the president and his cohorts.

They add “The slow-moving federal bureaucracy is keeping the BlackBerry around. But RIM’s intensifying troubles and thriving rivals are confronting Washington with a question: Should it break its “crackberry” addiction?

Some agencies are already loosening their policies to let their workers choose other smartphones. Lawmakers and aides can now bring iPhones into the halls of Congress.

Obama carries his BlackBerry everywhere

But, for the most part, the federal government hasn’t joined the smartphone revolution.”

Casey Coleman, the chief information officer at the General Services Administration said “We appreciate RIM’s focus on security, which is paramount for government use.” A high percentage of their phones are Blackberry, even though they use some iPhones and Android powered units.

Part of the deal may actually be due to the price point. Blackberry is cheaper than the iPhone and many Android devices for big contractors. Even the IT departments are trained to fix Blackberry products, and this can make it harder to switch to new technologies.

The Washington Post add “The slow pace of change has made the BlackBerry as much a part of federal culture as short-sleeve, white-collared shirts were among NASA engineers or lapel pins are among politicians on Capitol Hill. Some analysts even expect Washington to become the last bastion for RIM’s devices.”

Kitguru says: Blackberry or not?

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