Smartphones from LG and Samsung in testing for internal use

White House staff using Android phones? If a new report by the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, that could be on the cards. Sources have indicated to them that smartphones from Samsung and LG are currently in testing, which could ultimately lead to the currently used BlackBerrys being replaced or reduced in numbers.

The reported tests are still in the early stages, so neither President Obama or anyone else inside The White House will be ditching their BlackBerry any time in the immediate future. But a Defense Department spokesperson did give a pretty vague statement hinting that the information could be true:

"We can confirm that the White House Communications Agency, consistent with the rest of the Department of Defense, is piloting and using a variety of mobile devices," a Defense Department spokesman said.

The same sources also went on to add that the iPhone isn't part of the testing and neither Samsung or LG would comment on the story. BlackBerry has been the choice of the security conscious for many a year, but slowly we're starting to see other platforms gain traction. If it does turn out to be true, then it could become a high profile casualty for BlackBerry.

Source: Wall Street Journal


Reader comments

White House reportedly testing Android phones, could threaten BlackBerry


Until someone whispers malware in their ear and they'll be terrified.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm sure they are ready to get apps from Chinese app stores as well. That malware argument holds water like a spaghetti strainer.

Seems like some android users in this thread don't agree with you much ;)

Posted via Android runtime given to me for free as a secondary option

STFU. seriously. I'm done with your absolute hatred of French Canadians.

Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

I could try, lol.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

I see the iPhone going the way of the Blackberry. Too secure for government snooping.

Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)

This was unforseen... Probably just the NSA making sure they can access anything they want.

Posted via Android Central App

Hm...Blackberry.... blackberry.....oh yeah! I read about those.. They can text n stuff right? :-)

Posted via Android Central App

Going to head over to CrackBerry for a balanced and measured response


Posted via Android Central App

I'm a diehard for the two platforms, BlackBerry and Android. I have a BB Torch 9860 legacy BBOS, BB Z10, and LG G Flex, and yes each platform has its strengths and weaknesses.

Posted via Android Central App

Actually, I find crackberry forum users to be more level-headed and well-mannered than forum users here. I've noticed it for three years now. There are people there that love their OS and devices--of course--but they're actually polite to each other and a lot even welcome users of other devices to their forums. Windows Phone users are generally pretty calm and collected as well.

I guess once you hit it big, all the assholes come out.

General Dynamics Sectera Edge is what the President was using for secure communications.
KNOX on Samsung devices was developed by General Dynamics, Samsung and the NSA to secure devices. Outside of Samsung, General Dynamics has signing keys for the Galaxy S3 and S4.

Just say no to Samsung and KNOX.

Ugh... Obama can have my GS4! It's insecure and Verizon has ruined it by forcing me to have this fucked up TW bs... oh yeah and send me a new screen for my Zed10
Posted via Android Central App

Let's be real here, nobody wants BlackBerry PERIOD. The one trick security pony BlackBerry relied on for years has gone lame.

Posted via Android Central App

I actually picked up a Z30 last week. Quite enjoyable actually. BB10 is intuitive, and using the snap marketplace to install any and all android apps is pretty cool.

It's a shame people dismiss a product entirely without giving it a thorough run-through.

I'm still an android fanboy, but BB10 now has a spot on my desk.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm not going to spend money on a platform with no native apps. If I get a device that relies on the competitor for apps then I'll just go to the competitor and get their device. No decent app eco system not a faint chance of a "thorough run-through" got better things to spend my money on than to be a beta tester.

That's a nice story, no one is asking you to be?

I agree, app situations on all platforms apart from iOS and Android are severely lacking. However, BB10 is a good platform that doesn't receive the respect it deserves. There are tons of issues with it.. it's not pretty and some inconsistencies within the platform itself are frustrating. However, that doesn't represent the platform as a whole.

I go through a lot of phones. My recent portfolio includes the HTC One, Moto X, LG G2, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Lucia 925, iPhone 5s and currently the Note 3. I tried using my Note 3 today, and actually missed the BlackBerry, which is something I never thought I'd say.

Posted via Android Central App

Please forgive me if I'm interrupting here but I just couldn't help notice this interesting little debate here. Man, I'm in a similar way. I've been through several mobile platforms. My recent portfolio has been iPhone 4, Nexus S and currently BlackBerry Z10. I agree with you that BB10 is a very solid platform and that the app situation is terrible compared to Android and iOS. I went with BB10 because I want to see BlackBerry succeed in one way or another. Plus, I'm sick and tired of the smartphone duopoly (Apple and Samsung) in the smartphone market because it's absolutely boring when it comes to choices. Without competition, there's no innovation. Depending on how BlackBerry's recovery goes or how the smartphone wars go later on in the year and into 2015, I might switch back to Android or to a different platform like Sailfish OS, Ubuntu Touch etc. Again, I sincerely apologize if I interrupted this conversation but I wanted to contribute to the debate.

No, definitely not interrupting. Thanks for the input. It's always to see people a little more open-minded about platforms.
I'm always a two phone kind of guy, and I'm glad to say BB10 really impresses me. It's certainly not replacing my love for android devices... but despite popular belief, it is in fact a very nice platform with a ton of potential.

Posted via Android Central App

Your logic is incorrect, you've associated iOS and Android with Apple and Samsung as if there is only the iPhone and Galaxy S. And claimed innovation has stiffed because of the two. The fallacy is that Samsung has innovatived and has produced a large variety of phones with a great amount of choices. Secondly Samsung isn't the only Android vendor. There are a good many vendors each with a great solution far better than what BlackBerry offers.
Android, unlike iPhone or BlackBerry has competition within it's own platform.

While I appreciate criticism of some form or another, I think you're misunderstanding me here. If you look carefully on how I wrote my previous comment, I wrote it from a marketshare point of view. When I said that the smartphone market is boring, I was simply referring to the fact that due to relentless marketing, Apple and Samsung seem to be the only choices for the majority of people. Not just for smartphones but also for mobile platforms. I'm also rooting for other "underdog mobile platforms" such as WP8.1 and Sailfish OS. I am completely aware that Samsung isn't the only Android vendor by the way. The last thing I want right now is to have a debate going out of control.

Posted via Android Central App

Android and iOS devices are already being used by DOD members. This is news?

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This story is about White House comms, not DoD. Not all federal government agencies contract under the same communications umbrella for cost and security. Heck, not all DoD subordinates contract under the same comms umbrella.

I wish I could have seen Jerry's face when he heard about this one. Better still - will they have Micro-SD cards?
Please get me a screenshot of the POTUS Google Now cards. "Tuesday: Invade unsuspecting neutral country (in 2 hours 35 minutes)"

the most important questions that the Feds should be asking are:

(1) will this Android phone let me play Flappy Bird?

(2) can I arrange widgets to my own taste on the home screen?

(3) is the front-facing camera going to give good results when the POTUS takes selfies with hot foreign female presidents and prime ministers?

(4) can I launch a nuclear attack against Putin from this Android phone?


I think BlackBerry is still the #1 in security. While I love the features of Android, I don't think security is good with these phones.

True. But, remember, security was/still is Blackberry's bread and butter. Although some manufacturers are starting to create Android devices with an emphasis on security, Android, at its core, was never advertised as being secure. Though something can/should be done (besides teaching common sense to the masses) to decrease the amount of malware on the Android platform, security has always been on the backburner of open-source projects/software.

For the average user, common sense is the best security. But, for people working in the White House, Blackberry may be where those users need to remain for the foreseeable future.

Refreshing to hear some common sense here. Android has many advantages, security for an outfit like the white house isn't one of them. At least not yet. And realistically, are apps the most important thing when making a decision for an enterprise?

*sits back with popcorn and waits for fanboy attacks*

Posted via Android runtime given to me for free as a secondary option

And, 7 hours later? Nothing, lol. It's safe to come out, now. =)

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

Blackberry is already threatened, by their own stupidity & idiotic strategy.... Or lack thereof.

Posted via Android Central App from my Ebony backed Moto X

DOD wide they are going to select Android phones and the S4 was specifically named and they are also going to iPhone as well. The person getting the phone is supposed to have a limited choice. In the Air Force we are already training our IT to be able to manage both platforms to be able to troubleshoot and fix issues.

Posted via Android Central App

Nice to know. I don't see why it would be an issue for DoD to use Android since it is supporting a NIPRnet and the highest class level is FOUO. White House would be a big deal since I'm sure it is some form of SIPRnet and has to allow for at least SECRET level comms. I would be impressed to see Android meet that certification.

The NSA released SE Android almost two years ago, but that was just a baby step implementing MAC instead of DAC. I have not seen any kind of wireless device for voice comm implemented over SIPR though, or even read that they were leaning that way. All I've seen are secure radio nets, satphones, and point to point encryption over unsecure lines like the STU/STE units.

Thanks. So it looks like MiRC, SATCOM, and email will still be the only vehicles for SIPR comms. I figured the White House at least would have developed some form of secure freq hopping mobile data.

Blackberry apps and android apps running on one device...

Blackberry device and android device running on one house...

The power of synergy, that's beneficial as long as used with good intentions.

Posted via XT910 CM11 M4

BlackBerry is already damaged by the years of slacking against Android and iOS. The White House possibly switching away their work phones from them doesn't mean jack compared to all the consumers who have switched the last few years.

Blackberry's biggest customer is still the US Government. DoD has been testing alternatives to Blackberry because the economic reality is that there may soon be a future without them. As much as I love Android, I find it a dubious choice for the offices that require higher security in their communications *as is*. I expect a tightly controlled fork along the lines of what Boeing is doing will be the platform they eventually settle on for those really critical communications.

Have you seen the prices on encrypted phones? up to $20,000 in some cases. There is NO WAY that BOEING is going to be the low cost supplier. So I am betting on 40 to 80K per phone from BOEING.