Aussie Treasury Department Dumps BlackBerry for iPhone

Apple in AustraliaAustralia's Department of Treasury announced this week that it will be dumping its fleet of BlackBerry devices and replace them with Apple iPhones. This only involves some 250 devices, but the news from Down Under is an illustration of the difficulty the newly renamed BlackBerry company faces as iPhone and Android continue to control the smartphone market.

ZDNet reported that the Department of Treasury decided to make the switch to iPhone after Australia's Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) certified iOS for use in government offices. Android has not yet been approved by the DSD.

The timing of the announcement may be bittersweet for the folks at BlackBerry, which launched BlackBerry 10 just last week. The company has been looking at this new version of its operating systems as the catalyst for a turnaround, but the Aussie treasurers were unimpressed.

"BlackBerry has pretty limited capability," Peter Alexander, chief information officer at the department, said. "With the new one being launched, it's almost too late. Maybe it'll catch up, maybe it won't."

Android would have been considered by the department if it had approval, but as it was, the department said that the only choice it could really make was to move to Apple's iPhone.

"In the coldest and cruelest way to look at it, there was no decision for us, really," Mr. Alexander said. "We looked at it in terms of usability and functionality, Android phones are perfectly adequate [...] but it was really a decision we didn't have much option in."

"Perfectly adequate," the ringing endorsement every corporate suit hopes for, right? In the meanwhile, the department will be using both iPhones and iPads going forward.