I still need the reassurance of a familiar brand before it's a real story - Tony Maddox, CNN senior VP
UNITED STATES PRESIDENT Barack Obama might be about to dump his beloved Blackberry for an Android smartphone, dealing yet another blow to the struggling Canadian phone maker.
That is according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported on Thursday that the White House is testing Android smartphones from Samsung and LG that it will consider adopting internally.
The report cites people with knowledge of the matter, who have let slip that the devices are being tested by the White House internal technology team and Communications Agency, a military unit in charge of Obama's communications.
However, the report added that the tests are in the early stages, so any possible implementation of Android smartphones likely is still "months away".
The US Defence Department seemed to confirm the news in a statement sent to the Wall Street Journal, saying, "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."
Samsung also hinted that the report was legitimate, with a spokesperson saying in a statement, "We have seen strong interest from the government sector and are working closely with various agencies to deploy pilot [programmes]."
LG, on the other hand, said that it wasn't aware of such testing.
Still, news of Android testing is not good for Blackberry, as the report strongly suggested that President Obama soon will give up his modified Blackberry in favour for an Android smartphone.
In a statement, the Canadian phone maker claimed that "only Blackberry" is secure enough for use by the US government in a dig at Google's Android mobile operating system.
A Blackberry spokesperson said, "For more than a decade, Blackberry has been securing the US government's mobile communications and only Blackberry is designed to meet the high-security needs of US and allied government agencies." µ
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