US President Barack Obama has finally ditched his iconic BlackBerry phones but the smartphone replacement awarded to him is less 'smart' than you'd think.
BlackBerry -- formerly RIM -- was once top of the pile when it came to business and government users keen on securing their mobile devices and content stored within. However, times have changed, and the company is now fighting against rivals including Silent Circle and ramped-up Android smartphones based on security, including Samsung's Knox, to stay relevant in today's enterprise market.
One of BlackBerry's major business advocates is US President Obama, who was once constantly seen running around with various BlackBerry models. As one of the few devices approved by use by the US Defense department, the president has been seen of late with BlackBerry Curve 8300 handsets, as well as a BlackBerry Curve 8900.
However, it seems that BlackBerry has lost its lustre. In a recent appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the US leader revealed that the BlackBerry has finally been shown the door in favor of a new smartphone.
For Obama, however, it may not be the high-tech upgrade he wanted.
In the interest of security, the unnamed but "state-of-the-art" smartphone has been dumbed down to the point that all the basic features we take for granted -- such as taking photos, loading and playing music or sending texts, have been barred by the president's security team.
You also have to wonder whether you can call the BlackBerry replacement a 'smartphone' at all since it will also not let the president make a phone call.
Obama says that when he sees the first lady and his daughters using their mobile devices -- with all the features that come with them -- he cannot help but be jealous.
"Does your three-year-old have one of those play phones?," Obama asked Fallon. "It's got, like, the stickers on it. And you [mime making phone calls] to your imaginary friend? That's the phone I've got."
The new smartphone may be a poor substitute, but as the end to his presidential term loom closer, Obama will soon be able to go back to being the "high-tech guy" he was before entering the White House.