A few years ago, the hottest device to have was a Blackberry smartphone- a product that was reliable, durable and had a community user-base in and outside the corporate world. In 2010, there was over 21-million Blackberry users in the U.S, whereas that number has dropped to fewer than 5-million in 2014. Unfortunately, consumers have been seduced by the draw of entertainment value and the lure of flashy applications in the iPhone and the Android, and have left their sturdy Blackberry devices behind.
Blackberry was firm in their belief that the corporate market would always value the safety of work-related information and they were correct. The company has always had their ace in the hole: an unmatched security enterprise based on the Secusmart Security Card, a micro SD card with an integrated SmartCard chip, a code which would, theoretically, take 149 billion years to crack based on today’s technical standards.* And while iPhone and Android may lay claim to the lions’ share of the device market, there is one customer they have not yet secured: The President of the United States.
Obama has been a loyal customer and affirmed user of the Blackberry device for a decade, saying someone would need to “pry it out of his hands”. And with the seemingly casual way the average consumer allows various smartphone apps GPS access to their location, contacts and personal information, the U.S government simply cannot risk this kind of security issue. Until recently, governments and associated departments have adopted the same attitude when it comes to security, however, last month saw 12,000 Samsung phones and iPhones replacing the traditionally used Blackberry devices for both the United States military and Air Force.
This comes as an undoubtedly harsh blow for Blackberry with security as their unique and marketable selling point. Blackberry addressed the decision in a statement saying, “For customers that have the highest security requirements, such as those in government, there is nothing more secure than a BlackBerry device managed by a BlackBerry Enterprise Server…BlackBerry remains the best option for governments around the world.”** Time will tell if these government departments will “rue the day” they chose Blackberry competitors. There is a reason why Blackberry cemented its grip in the corporate world for functionality, security and durability for so long – because the technology and the operating system is iron clad. Say what you will about Blackberry, because they may be down, but not out, because there will always be a need for the protection of sensitive information in all industries. And should there be a whisper of security issues within the U.S departments, you can bet Blackberry will be having the last laugh.
Do you have a Blackberry? If so, what keeps you using the device? If not, what made you switch? I look forward to your thoughts below.