BlackBerry Ltd Still Favorite Of Australian PM, Cabinet Goes iPhone


BlackBerry is still the favorite smartphone brand of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott while the cabinet will now move to iPhones, according to a report from ZDNet. The majority of government agencies are preferring iPhone or Android as standard issue devices for ministers.

Abbott still uses BlackBerry

The Department of Parliamentary Services offers smartphones to all MPs under its one-stop shop and has withdrawn any support to BlackBerry. However, ministers and parliamentary secretaries who have decided to stick with their BlackBerry could probably get the phone directly from their department for ministerial activity, the report suggests.

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An earlier report from ZDNet informed readers that the Department of Parliamentary Services will not offer support to BlackBerry smartphones any more since the last BlackBerry in the cabinet was replaced with an iPhone at the end of June. It is said that the member is Liberal MP and former attorney-general Philip Ruddock.

Earlier, the Canadian smartphone maker used to be the obvious choice of governments, but the popularity of the iPhone, Android and other smartphones and the emergence of bring-your-own device compelled the public service to let staff use non-BlackBerry devices for work purposes. In 2012, Apple’s iPhone was finally passed by the Australian Signals Directorate, which also extended its approval to a range of Android and Windows Phones. This helped many departments and their ministers shift from using the traditional phones to the iPhone or Android.

BlackBerry, a multi-platform solution

Following the ZDNet story, Matthew Ball, the Canadian firm’s local managing director, told The Australian that Prime Minister Tony Abbot is still fond of BlackBerry and uses the company’s phone. Ball said that Barrack Obama, Angela Merkel, David Cameron and Tony Abbot also still use BlackBerry devices. The device is issued from the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet. DPMC told ZDNet that the agency only issues Apple’s iPhones but acknowledged that there were still some BlackBerry phones in use.

Since September 2013, when the coalition government came to power, only eight ministers or parliamentary secretaries have acknowledged publicly that they are issued BlackBerry phones by their departments, including Prime Minister Tony Abbot.

In response, BlackBerry answered ZDNet through a blog post, saying ZDNet’s story misses the point as the Canadian firm is working on a device management platform that works across iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.