BlackBerry got its start in the 1990s selling secure “redirection” of corporate email to pager-like two-way messaging devices. One of its original keyboard-equipped devices holds a coveted position in my Wireless Hall of Fame in my attic.
Twenty years later, BlackBerry isn’t forgetting its roots.
Having scaled back its consumer-sales efforts in the U.S., the company took to the web to reassure corporations and government entities that it still has the trust of world leaders.
In a blog post, the company said, “It’s well-known that the heads of the most powerful countries in the world choose BlackBerry smartphones, for the strong security, productivity and connectivity that they provide.”
That strength is important for retailers because so many corporations are now letting employees bring their own favored devices to the corporate network, but for many corporations, the devices have to meet stringent security criteria.
World leaders who use Blackberry phones include President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, BlackBerry said. BlackBerry quoted British Prime Minister David Cameron as saying in press reports that “wherever I am in the world, I am always within a few feet of a BlackBerry and an ability to manage things should they need to be managed.”
In its blog post, BlackBerry also played up recent setbacks by Apple in government circles. BlackBerry cited one newspaper report that the U.K. government banned iPads from high-level cabinet meetings out of fear that the devices could be bugged by foreign intelligence agencies. And Australian intelligence officials found that the iPhone of the Australian foreign minister discovered the device had been hacked during negotiations related to the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine.
To sum up its strengths, BlackBerry pointed out that it is “a chosen mobile solutions provider for all of the G7 governments,” holds more than 50 government certifications, and its BlackBerry 10 platform is “the only mobility solution to receive the coveted Full Operational Capability (FOC) certification to run on Department of Defense networks.”
But I have a call in to fugitive whistle-blower Edward Snowden to hear what he has to say about BlackBerry phones.