It seems like President Barack Obama may be sticking with his BlackBerry for a little while longer. In remarks given during a meeting with American youth yesterday, the President of the United States said that he isn’t allowed to use Apple’s iPhone, citing “security reasons”.
The current President is the first holder of that office to actively use email and other digital communications, likely making every choice something that requires careful study and deliberation. Neither of his predecessors used email over the course of their terms in office, and even Mr. Obama was careful to note that only ten people have his personal email address.
He also famously argued to keep his BlackBerry when he was first elected, despite protestations over security concerns. During Wednesday’s meeting, he did mention that he used an iPad – but since the iPhone and iPad are essentially the same device despite a different wrapper, it’s unlikely that he uses it for more than personal correspondance and general Internet activities.
Given BlackBerry’s decline in the markets, the remarks show that they still have relevance for security-conscious customers. Apple, who makes iOS-powered devices such as the iPhone and iPad, and Google, responsible for managing the Android operating system, have both come under fire for reportedly providing the NSA with the means necessary to eavesdrop on their users.
BlackBerry has been able to avoid some of this thanks to the fact that they’re a Canadian company and thus have a better point from which to resist secret U.S. court actions.
While still known as Research in Motion, the company fought against India’s government, which demanded a way to intercept traffic on RIM’s internal customer networks.