The White House is testing mobile devices from both Samsung and LG, as BlackBerry’s stranglehold on the communications of the US government weakens.
Devices are being tested by the White House's internal technology team and the White House Communications Agency, the military division in charge of President Barack Obama’s communications, a source familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Testing is in the early stages, the person said, and any potential rollout of Samsung or LG handsets among government staff is still 'months away,' while there was currently no indication that President Obama would have to surrender his personal modified BlackBerry.
'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 Defense Department spokesman said, but declined to say which devices were being tested.
Despite Obama’s fondness for Apple products - he has previously said he uses an iPad to read - the source said iPhones are not part of the White House pilot scheme.
If the US Government were to switch from BlackBerry to another manufacturer, it would be yet another major blow for the Canadian company. At its peak, BlackBerry handsets were used by almost half of US smartphone users, but since the launch of the iPhone and Android, its share has tumbled to just 0.6%.
In a television interview with Bloomberg this month, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said he had 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'.
Source: The Wall Street Journal