The smartphone that once dominated the market benefited greatly from its secure communication features, such as BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Secure Work Space, and that’s why BlackBerrys were seen in the hands of many world leaders and government officials.
Just five years ago when he took office, U.S. President Barack Obama fought to keep his beloved BlackBerry. His former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became an Internet star for a now-famous picture of her reading from hers.
But BlackBerry doesn’t hold a candle to its competitors when it comes to sales of devices and the company has already adapted its prized secure communication programs for two of its biggest rivals – Apple and Android – in order to help keep the company in the game.
READ MORE: BlackBerry reports $423 million Q4 loss
That may make for a global shift among global leaders, who may consider swapping their BlackBerrys for more popular brands.
Here’s a look at which smartphones some of the world’s leaders are using.
Barack Obama – BlackBerry
One of BlackBerry’s most famous users is the President of the United States.
In the lead up to his inauguration, he told reporters “They’re going to have to pry it out of my hands.”
Despite rumours that the U.S. government was looking into switching to Samsung or LG devices, and that BlackBerry Secure Workspace for iOS and Android had been given the thumbs up for government phones, Obama apparently still has no intention of giving up his BlackBerry.
During a press conference earlier this month, White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed the First Phone will continue to be a BlackBerry and that Obama was not taking part in the trial of new devices.
Stephen Harper – phoneless?
While Obama wanted to keep a tight grasp on his BlackBerry in 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was extolling his BlackBerry-free life. While it appears he still prefers the use of a secure landline – he gave up his cellphone and email account when he first took office in 2006.
His office confirmed to Global News a report that indicated he did use an iPad to go over research.
Angela Merkel – BlackBerry
Considered the world’s most powerful woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel owns a BlackBerry Z10. Merkel’s phone became the focus of allegations the U.S. monitored her cellphone communications – one of the many spy revelations to come from National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden.
According to the Guardian, she reportedly had two phones – one for government business and one for matters related to her party. The latter phone, a Nokia 6260 Slide, was the one the NSA allegedly monitored.
She uses the Z10 for official duties, one that has been specially encrypted to protect her communications.
Vladimir Putin – Android device
Russian President Vladimir Putin stayed local and got his hands on a Russian-made MTS-Glonass 945 Android device back in 2012. But, he reportedly said two years earlier he did not have a mobile phone.
“If I did have a mobile [phone] it would keep ringing incessantly,” the Kyiv Post reported him saying. “Additionally, if the phone rings at my home I never pick it up.”
Helle Thorning-Schmidt – BlackBerry
While sitting between two people G7 leaders, President Obama and Britain’s David Cameron, at Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt was a part of one of the most famous selfies of 2013.
The trio of leaders were caught on camera taking a selfie on Thorning-Schmidt’s BlackBerry Z10, while U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama sat off to the side (and later reports confirmed she was not angry about the candid snap, despite what contrary reports said).
While the picture of the picture is well-known, the selfie itself has not been seen publicly.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Thorning-Schmidt’s phone as an iPhone. It was a BlackBerry Z10.
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