BlackBerry Fan Barack Obama Isn’t Allowed iPhone For ‘Security Reasons’

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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US President gives BlackBerry an unexpected boost

BlackBerry has been given a boost by one of its most famous customers, US President Barack Obama, who says he cannot have an iPhone due to “security reasons.”

According to the Wall Street Journal¸ Obama made the admission to a group of young people during a discussion at the White House about his planned healthcare reform, but did say his daughters Sasha and Malia had iPhones and seemed to spend a lot of time using them.

Obama iPhone

Barack Obama BlackBerryObama, who apparently uses his BlackBerry to read emails and surf the web, fought to keep his smartphone of choice when he became President in 2009, despite the concerns of the US Secret Service who feared mobile email could be a security risk. Neither of the President’s predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, used email.

It is unclear what reasons the Secret Service could have to deny Obama the use of one of Apple’s popular handsets, but the fact it is a security concern will be music to the ears of BlackBerry, which is targeting the enterprise market as a way of emerging from its current problems.

The struggling Canadian manufacturer is stressing the security and management credentials of its cross-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES 10) mobile device management (MDM) product to retain and win new business, with government organisations being a key historical customer base for the company.

BlackBerry competition

However BlackBerry’s recent troubles and the increasing trend towards BYOD have encouraged other MDM providers, with Samsung and Good Technology both telling TechWeekEurope they plan big pushes next year.

Obama himself might be wary that BlackBerrys are not immune from security concerns. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also a notable user of BlackBerry smartphones, but recent reports suggested her handset had been subject to surveillance from the National Security Agency (NSA).

The US President phoned Merkel to assure her that the US was not monitoring and will not monitor her communications, but German observers interpreted this as an admission that her phone could have been tapped in the past.

BlackBerry has had a bumpy year! Try our 2013 BlackBerry quiz!