White House

As Spying Scandal Roils Capitals, Obama Holds Tight to His Trusty BlackBerry


As Spying Scandal Roils Capitals, Obama Holds Tight to His Trusty BlackBerry

Photograph by Charles Dharapak/AP Photo

The Germans are furious. The Spaniards are incensed. The Americans are on the defensive.

And the Canadians? The ones at BlackBerry’s (BBRY) headquarters are surely smiling.

At a difficult time of late for BlackBerry, Monday’s surge of anger over the U.S. tapping communications of foreign allies and their leaders brought unexpected good publicity for the Canadian smartphone maker. World leaders may no longer trust their own phones, as NBC News reported, but President Barack Obama continues to trust his BlackBerry.

Sure, in the grand scheme of things, the news won’t do anything to boost BlackBerry’s depressed stock price or clear the haze surrounding the company’s future. But these days, BlackBerry will take PR victories wherever they can get them. The president’s continued devotion to his BlackBerry is a gift that keeps on giving—a much needed morale booster at a company whose employees, past and present, tend to take great personal pride in Obama’s attachment to their product.

On Monday evening, NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams reminded millions of viewers that the most powerful politician in the world—a guy who can pretty much have any gadgets he wants—has yet to switch to an iPhone (AAPL).

Andrea Mitchell: “President Obama is the first U.S. President to use a BlackBerry, overruling objections from the CIA and NSA.”
NBC News Counterterrorism Expert Michael Leiter: “Knowing other countries would be interested in listening to his phone calls, he ended up using one of the most secure BlackBerrys on earth.” 
Andrea Mitchell: He won’t give it up.
NBC News reporter Peter Alexander [at a recent White House press conference]: “Is the president still using his BlackBerry?”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: ”I have no change to announce in terms of the president’s communications.”
Andrea Mitchell: ”He loves that BlackBerry.”

BlackBerry executives in Waterloo: [swooning]

Gillette_190
Gillette is a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York.

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Companies Mentioned

  • BBRY
    (BlackBerry Ltd)
    • $10.48 USD
    • -0.03
    • -0.29%
  • AAPL
    (Apple Inc)
    • $106.98 USD
    • -0.36
    • -0.34%
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