Obama may drop his BlackBerry as White House shops around, WSJ says

CBC

BlackBerry may lose its most powerful customer in U.S., President Barack Obama, as the White House begins testing other phones, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The White House, which uses BlackBerry devices due to their security and encryption, is beginning to test phones from Samsung and LG, which use Google's competing Android operating system.

However, there is no immediate indication that Obama will switch phones, and he is still using his modified BlackBerry, according to the report.

"We value the long-term relationship we’ve had with the White House and have been securing their mobile communications for more than a decade, " BlackBerry said in a statement sent to CBC News. 

"Other vendors such as Samsung and LG still have a long way to go to catch up to meet the government’s stringent requirements and certifications."

Obama has been a BlackBerry user since before becoming president and is often photographed using it.

The smartphone maker is in the midst of a turnaround under chief executive Chen, who took the top job in November of last year.

Earlier this month, Chen held talks with White House officials, a meeting he called "consumer outreach" in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company announced Friday that it plans to sell the majority of its Canadian real estate in a deal that it says will close by the end of June.

In mid-morning trading on the TSX, BlackBerry stock was up 17 cents to $9.59, an increase of 1.8 per cent.

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