BlackBerry Ltd is getting further embroiled in controversies about Hillary Clinton’s use of email. It has now emerged that Hillary Clinton’s BlackBerry phones were bought on eBay. In an effort to keep Hillary Clinton’s email use in the news, one more fact came to light yesterday. Hillary Clinton bought older, discontinued BlackBerrys on eBay when she was serving as Obama‘s first Secretary of State.
BlackBerry Ltd’s 13 Phones Were Used in 4 Years
At first glance, the source of Hillary Clinton’s BlackBerrys seems quite irrelevant. If she were selling her BlackBerrys used when she was Secretary of State, that would be newsworthy without question and we would likely be looking at a Trump victory come November. But, that quite simply is not the case here. “News” outlets like the New York Post and others like the Washington Examiner seem to want to make it news. “I don’t want to get into this too much, but part of what was happening with the secretary of state was, she was acquiring technology that wasn’t even supported by BlackBerry,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told a forum in DC on Wednesday, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
The thing is, with statements like that, it’s quite clear that Rep. Chaffetz does “want to get into this too much” and will go out of his way to continue to call for additional investigations of the democratic presidential nominee. “You couldn’t buy it. She was actually buying this stuff off of eBay because somebody was selling their old machine. That’s what she liked, so she did. It creates this huge vulnerability. And it’s unnecessary,” the House Oversight Committee chairman continued in front of an audience at the American Enterprise Institute. As per an FBI report released last week on Clinton’s email use, the former Secretary of State used 13 separate BlackBerry Ltd devices in her four years of service as the United States’ leading diplomat.
As per the report, Clinton often lost or misplaced her personal BlackBerry devices she used after the government rejected her request for a device the NSA had built for President Obama. During the investigation into Clinton’s email use, she and her aides were unable to provide the FBI with these devices though Justin Cooper, an aid to Bill Clinton told the FBI that he took a hammer to no less than two of Mrs. Clinton’s BlackBerrys. When the FBI declined to charge Clinton, one might be thinking that the whole affair was behind her, but among other reasons it hasn’t gone away, one is that she’s Hillary Clinton and this is an election year. Chaffetz has promised to continue using his committee to continue to investigate Clinton.
Do Phones Even Matter to BlackBerry Anymore?
Controversies aside, it is not easy to judge the value of the phones to the firm’s business. At the Q1 2017 earnings call , it was clear that the firm’s smartphone sales continue to suffer. The CEO said during the earnings call that the firm’s first Android phone didn’t sell as good as it was hoped. It failed to get a good response due to its high price. Mr. Chen also said that BlackBerry Ltd more than doubled its software revenue on a year-over-year basis for the second consecutive quarter due to its EMM, secure messaging and QNX embedded software businesses. This may be one of the reasons why the firm is now looking beyond phones in order to make ends meet.