Blackberry, despite its best efforts to stay alive, has failed to keep up with its iOS and Android competition, and its days as a ubiquitous brand in the political world has largely reached its end. According to a notice sent out to Senate staffers, including the system administrators, administrative managers, and chief clerks, BlackBerry phones and support will be available for as long as the Senate’s existing phone stock lasts; staffers who want to ditch the phones altogether, though, are being given the option of an iPhone SE or a Galaxy S6.
According to the notice, the change is due to BlackBerry notifying Verizon and AT&T about the discontinuation of its BlackBerry OS 10 smartphones. For now, staffers can still get their hands on a Z30, Classic, Passport, Z10, and Q10, but there’s a limited number available, and most of them are of the Classic and Z30 varieties.
After the existing stock has been used up, the only new BlackBerrys that will go out will be warranty exchanges, and only when possible. If someone doesn’t want to keep on the BlackBerry 10 platform, though, they can upgrade now to a Galaxy S6 on Verizon regardless of upgrade eligibility, or they can get a 16GB iPhone SE for those who are eligible for an upgrade.
Those who can’t stand the thought of separating from their BlackBerry will be able to use it as long as the device remains functional and BlackBerry continues to offer support, which doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. Given that no new BB 10 devices are going to be made, however, you’d be well advised to stock up or soon face the inevitable.