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BlackBerry Is Washington's Preferred Smartphone

RIM, the BlackBerry manufacturer, lost £78m for the three months to the 3rd March. Whilst the device is no longer the top smartphone in its native land of Canada, the BlackBerry is still staunchly supported by Washington (opens in new tab).

President Obama, his staff and the other half a million federal workers are still working on their issued BlackBerrys. Whilst everywhere else the numbers of BlackBerrys in use has been declining, inside the Beltway, the support has hardly wavered.

With other agencies allowing their employees to bring their other smartphones into work, and lawmakers and aides permitted to bring their iPhones into Congress, will it be too long before Washington relents in its BlackBerry addiction?

"We appreciate RIM's focus on security, which is paramount for government use," explained Casey Coleman, the chief information officer at the General Services Administration (GSA). Only a handful of the agencies 12,000 issue smartphones are devices not made by RIM. However, Coleman acknowledged that other platforms are proving to be equally as secure, and that the GSA has "a priority on adoption where appropriate of innovative new technologies".

IT departments have been trained to specifically deal with BlackBerry related problems. Then there are the contracts that exist between RIM, wireless carriers, and Washington, that are years-long.

And RIM isn't going to give up their Washington fans lying down. "The federal government is a very important market to us and will continue to be. It is our core strength," stated Scott Totzke, a RIM senior vice president.