US Senate staffers no longer receiving BlackBerry smartphones

Senators and their staff in the United States will no longer be issued BlackBerry smartphones, according to Jim Swift of The Weekly Standard, who posted notice of the news on his personal blog. It’s a big shift for the U.S. government which for years was known for issuing BlackBerry smartphones. In fact, President Obama was the first President to request to continue to use his BlackBerry after taking office.

Swift said that staffers within the U.S. senate received notice that the BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Classic are beign discontinued. Part of the email said that “future carrier order fulfillment will not be guaranteed due to limited remaining stock.” Swift published a copy of the email passed around to administrative managers, chief clerks and system administrators. “Once we have exhausted our current in-house stock, new device procurements will be limited, while supplies last, to warranty exchanges only.” In other words, senate staffers won’t be able to get new BlackBerry smartphones unless they’re needed as a replacement.

The good news is that BlackBerry will continue to support and maintain the existing smartphones. And for those who still want them while they remain, there are a few hundred various models for Verizon and AT&T still around. Everyone else will migrate to Android and iOS.

“For offices wishing to make the transition from BlackBerry devices to other platforms, Verizon has agreed to suspend eligibility upgrade requirements for users migrating to Samsung S6 Android devices,” the letter said. “Additionally, the $0 16GB iPhone SE has been added to the Technology Catalog, although current eligibility upgrade and mandatory AppleCare+ requirements apply.”

Maybe BlackBerry can get the BlackBerry Priv in there somehow? I guess we can no longer see someone with a BlackBerry and assume they either work on Capitol Hill or have a career in finance.

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