October 23, 2012
US Immigration Agency Ditches BlackBerrys In Favor Of iPhones
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is dumping their Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry´s in favor of $2.1 million worth of iPhones for some 18,000 employees, the agency revealed in a solicitation document released last week.
The agency has relied on RIM´s technology for the past eight years, but said the company could “no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency.”
ICE said it had reviewed Apple's iOS and Google´s Android operating system, and concluded that the iPhone services offer the best technology.
The agency said the iPhones would be used by a "variety of agency personnel, including, but not limited to, Homeland Security Investigations, Enforcement and Removal Operations and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor employees.”
Paul Lucier, Vice President of government solutions at RIM, voiced his disappointment at ICE´s move.
"Of course, we are disappointed by this decision," he told Reuters.
"We are working hard to make sure our new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10, meets the future needs of government customers."
The new BlackBerry 10 is currently scheduled to launch in early 2013.
RIM noted that even without ICE, it still has one million government customers in North America.
RIM´s technology advantage has been its superior security and device-management features, which have made the BlackBerry attractive to corporate IT managers as well as law enforcement, government and military clients. But that advantage is fading with the growing number of providers that help companies boost security on iPhones and Android devices, and with Apple working on improving security on its devices.