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The Senate is ditching BlackBerry phones — and BlackBerry is trying to ditch phones

An era ends.

Blackberry Style Lounge Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

BlackBerry, erstwhile mobile king, has lost one of its most loyal mobile customers: The U.S. government.

A note went out earlier this week informing Senate staffers that they would no longer be issued BlackBerry handsets, since BlackBerry no longer makes them. (Jim Swift, a D.C. blogger, first flagged the memo.)

And so ends that era for BlackBerry, which managed to hold government handset contracts, despite its sharply sinking popularity, thanks to being seen as the most secure device.

The Canadian company is probably okay with that. It’s trying desperately to convince investors that it can flourish as a software and services company. Its first-quarter revenue for that segment, reported last week, rose 21 percent annually to $166 million — jumping its mobile unit ($152 million in sales, a 44 percent drop).

"Despite my best efforts to tell the world I'm a lot more than just a phone company, every question I ever get is about phones," CEO John Chen told reporters this week.

Senate staffers will be approved to procure a Samsung S6 or iPhone SE instead.

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