It's a dark day for the once hugely popular Blackberry.
Remember when Blackberry was the it device to have for the young tech-savvy individual? Those days are long gone, and news out of the U.S. Senate spells out yet another ignominious defeat for the company.
Blackberry was once so loved on Capitol Hill that fans called “Crackberry,” but touchscreens like Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy have relegated Blackberry to a tiny share of the cell phone market. Now, people working at the Capitol won’t be able to get a Blackberry phone once its stock of 600 phones runs out, according to an email sent out to staffers this past week.
The Blackberry had proved exceptionally popular with staffers on the Hill due to its keyboard that enabled quick communication, but as iPhone and Galaxy have swallowed up the smartphone market, more and more people on the Hill were finding the Blackberry’s presence to be more annoying than anything. And now, it appears that even the staunchly loyal Hill has given up on the device.
It’s a sign of the times for Blackberry, which has tried to inject some life into its brand in recent years with the unveiling of its own smartphone, but the company is clearly too late to the game. Its market share remains at less than 1 percent. It shipped 500,000 units int he latest quarter compared to 51.2 million iPhones for Apple.
The text of the email sent to staffers is below:
From: Notice (SAA)
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 3:56 PM
Subject: BlackBerry Discontinuation
This message was sent to Administrative Managers, Chief Clerks, and System Administrators.
BlackBerry informed Verizon and AT&T that production of all BlackBerry OS 10 devices (Q10, Z10, Z30, Passport, and Classic) has been discontinued. Future carrier order fulfillment will not be guaranteed due to limited remaining stock.
BlackBerry device support will continue for the foreseeable future. BlackBerry is committed to maintaining their support of our devices to include uninterrupted warranty and technical support.
Once we have exhausted our current in-house stock, new device procurements will be limited, while supplies last, to warranty exchanges only.
As of June 29, 2016, our BlackBerry device stock levels are:
RIM Classic Verizon BlackBerry – 275
RIM Z30 Verizon Black BlackBerry – 160
RIM Classic AT&T BlackBerry – 45
RIM Passport AT&T BlackBerry – 45
RIM Z10 AT&T Black BlackBerry – 45
RIM Q10 AT&T Black Blackberry – 40
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. Additionally, the $0 16GB iPhone SE has been added to the Technology Catalog, although current eligibility upgrade and mandatory AppleCare+ requirements apply.
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Mobile Communications Services.