blog Those of you with long memories will recall that the iPhone first launched in Australia in July 2008, no less than seven years ago. It took the Department of Parliamentary Services, that shockingly up-to-date bastion of modernism, a few years to catch on to the phenomenon, but by February 2011 technophiles such as Malcolm Turnbull (although he doesn’t quite *get* the fibre thing, does he?) had ditched the noble Blackberry and started tweeting from the floor of the two chambers.
“Bberry excellent for email but apps and web browsing very inferior,” tweeted the Member for Wentworth at the time. Well, quite.
Nowadays it’s par for the course for politicians and their staff to use iPhones or Samsung Galaxy S-whatevers, and your writer has even seen the odd Apple Watch around the House as the younger generation gets on board with the latest gadgetry. iPads are practically de rigueur.
To be honest, it’s hard to find this surprising. If you spend much time in Parliament House or in the public sector, you’ll experience regular odd Blackberry sightings. While the iPhone has found dominance in the House in recent years and Samsung is making inroads with Android, it takes a great deal of time for the public service to switch over to new technology. I suspect Abbott would not be regarded by many senior colleagues as particularly out of date for preferring a Blackberry, although junior staffers would receive odd looks from their mates if they opted for the same.
For many politicians, the Blackberry would have been their first real experience of a smartphone that did anything more than telephone calls and SMS. Times have changed, but some offices in Parliament House change slower than others.
Image credit: Office of Tony Abbott