Trump Trades-In His Trusty Android Phone For Super Secure Mystery POTUS Handset

The world of technology has changed dramatically since outgoing President Barack Obama first stepped into the White House as this nation's leader eight years ago. He was the first president to carry a mobile phone on his person, having turned in his personal handset for a Blackberry phone that had been heavily customized with security features (though he later traded that in for an iPhone). Today President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in, and he as well will use a secure mobile device, cleared by the US Secret Service for POTUS use. 

Trump represents a new era in a lot of ways. Whereas Obama was the first president of the United States to carry a smartphone, Trump will be the first to truly embrace social media, particularly Twitter, as he has done throughout his campaign. His heavy use of social media, which will likely continue after being sworn in, means that smartphone security is more important than ever.

Donald Trump
Image Source: Flickr (Gage Skidmore)

At the urging of security agencies, it is said that Trump has turned in his Android phone that has been so close to his hip throughout this process. It is not clear if he replaced it with a heavily modified Blackberry device like Obama did or with an iPhone or a different type of handset. In Obama's case, many functions of the initial Blackberry handset were disabled and relatively few people knew his phone number or email address.

Trump is not big on email, though he does make phone calls and of course is big on posting to Twitter and Facebook. He is also "amazingly accessible," according to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn), who claims that Trump answers his phone even he does not know who is calling. He bases that claim on having called Trump from a phone configured not to transmit caller ID data.

The focus on what smartphone Trump might seem trivial on the surface, but with hacking and cyber warfare being ever present, it is an interesting and relevant topic to focus on as he takes office. That is especially true when considering the potential meddling of Russia in the election process, as security officials claim, along with ongoing tensions with China.

As for Trump's Android phone that he turned in, it will be obsolete by the time he leaves office, whether that happens after one term or two. It is hard to imagine him going back to it. However, there is interested from curators at the Newseum, who are interested in buying his old phone.