The Slow and Agonizing Death of the Orginal Obamaphone

Posted: Oct 09, 2013 12:01 AM

ABCNews’ embedded press dudes report intrepidly from the frontlines of the SHUTDOWN, “where about 3 of 4 [White House] staffers have been furloughed, barred even from checking the BlackBerrys they usually clutch like worry beads.”

!!!! Oh my!!!

In the name of everything holy, can they just leave the darned Obamaphones out of this?

I assume, like the Catholic priests barred from saying Mass, that these staffers risk checking their semi-divine BlackBerrys upon pain of arrest.

In the the name of the father, son and holy text message, email or instant message, how will White House staffers re-write CIA Talking Points now? On the back of cocktail napkins?

The obvious idiocy of the federal government and our media is on display is all this:

Who the heck STILL uses BlackBerrys, anyway, the dumbest smartphone of them all?

BlackBerrys will go down to distinction as being the only smartphone that didn’t figure out how to make a profit on the proliferation of data via cellular networks.

Instead they are nearly bankrupt, and likely won’t survive in the current form.

“Some commentators suggest that the company's neglect of the consumer market,” writes IT Pro, “and its attempt to make BlackBerry the device most bought by companies for their employees, was the beginning of a sharp decline. With the rise of bring your own device policies, or BYOD, the line between the business and personal device has become ever more blurred. BlackBerry has been slaughtered in the marketplace as a result, despite being the device of choice for US President Barrack Obama.”

BlackBerry, even today, remains the official phone of the US Government. So most probably, BlackBerry’s demise had to do with the government being their largest customers.

Before there were free Obamaphones, BlackBerry was the Obamaphone for government workers. Imagine the numbers of ways that BlackBerry was screwed up by this.

“As a final nail in the coffin,” continues IT Pro, “it was revealed as part of the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures leaked by Edward Snowden that the NSA and the UK's GCHQ have almost complete access to the user data on Blackberry devices. The agencies were able to read SMS, location, emails and notes from users' devices, as well as monitor communications over BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). The security of BlackBerry users' data was seen to be virtually nil, destroying consumer perception of the device.”

It wasn’t just the consumer perception that was destroyed either.

I was sitting in a van full of staffers for a major presidential candidate in 2008 when a foreign power hacked the BlackBerry’s of Senators John McCain’s and Barack Obama’s campaigns, in a coordinated attack.

Yes, that’s how secure BlackBerry’s are.

But in an effort to keep the spy game alive, BlackBerry has remained the government smartphone of choice.

I don’t know if that’s because the government needs to keep an eye on its employees or they just are this incompetent.

The company is in confidential talks for a suitor who would probably take them private. At that point the owner would likely sell off the business units separately. The handset division, which makes the actual BlackBerry device, would likely not survive.

The company recently had to writedown nearly a billion dollars of inventory in their touchscreen BlackBerry 10 device, which has ignited a class-action, shareholder lawsuit.

“A class-action lawsuit has been filed against BlackBerry by a shareholder claiming the company misled investors about its future,” reports USAToday, “including how the BlackBerry 10 smartphone line would fare against competitors.”

Companies such as Google, Microsoft and Cisco may be interested in the network or social media businesses, but any sale would likely be an asset sale, leaving the handset in the empty shell to face eventual bankruptcy.

Of course, the government could do something really stupid, like include a bailout of the BlackBerry device, to be operated by the FCC, in conjunction with Fannie Mae, under a joint venture with the NSA and IRS and the National Institute of Health in some sort of budget compromise that raises the deficit by $3.6 trillion while “cutting spending” over a mythical 50 year period.

We can only thank God that BlackBerry’s aren’t solar powered…yet.

We’d NEVER be rid of them.

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