U.S. Immigrations Drops RIM for iPhone

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ICE hangs up on RIMICE hangs up on RIM

RIM and its BlackBerry smartphone lost yet another U.S. government agency to Apple's iPhone. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to spend US$4.1 million on iPhones for 17,600 employees after using RIM's phones for eight years.

ICE officials said "[RIM] can no longer meet the mobile needs of the agency," according to Reuters. "The iPhone services will allow these individuals to leverage reliable, mobile technology on a secure and manageable platform in furtherance of the agency's mission."

Staff assigned to Homeland Security Investigations, Enforcement and Removal Operations, and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor will make the move to iPhone, as will employees assigned to other ICE divisions.

The agency decided to abandon RIM's BlackBerry platform in part because Apple's iPhone and iOS offered better services, and because of the tight integration between the hardware and operating system. ICE may have also concerned about the future of RIM since the company is quickly losing marketshare and is dealing with serious financial issues.

Paul Lucier, RIM's vice president of government solutions, stated,

Of course, we are disappointed by this decision. We are working hard to make our new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10, meets the future needs of government customers.

BlackBerry 10 may not, however, arrive soon enough to help the ailing company. RIM is hoping to release BlackBerry 10 in the first part of 2013, but customers have already started leaving and investing in Apple's iPhone and iOS platform. Once companies and government agencies finish their transition, they won't likely consider spending the money to move back to RIM. -- especially if they're concerned about RIM's future.

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Forbes is reporting that the NTSB just left RIM for the iPhone 5 as well. Things don’t look good for RIM at all at this point.


Curious. Another US Govt sector leaving RIM for the iPhone, and not an Android OEM.

At some point, I’d like to see a graph of smartphone purchases by sector (enterprise vs personal consumer) with some demographics by country.

In middle and low income countries that I frequent, it’s clear who is buying Android phones and why (generally iPhones are unavailable except to those who travel abroad). I’d like to see who is purchasing which platform in high income countries.

It would also be interesting to know why enterprise, so often cost conscious when it comes to PCs and choosing the cheapest kit, make their respective smartphone choices, particularly when it is the iPhone and cheaper Android handsets are available.


Working in municipal government, I can answer with three reasons for Apple over Android:

1) It’s because the only way to even remotely consider Android a secure enough platform is to add an MDM, which offsets the cost savings of avoiding BES.  Apple is often considered a naturally safe middle ground - not as secure as Blackberry but still above bar - and MDM is often considered more about asset management vs. security enforcement.

2) Execs get iPads and it doen’t take long to realize the benefits of a unified mobile ecosystem.  Easier to support, universal apps, etc.

3) While it’s been shaken up lately, investments in accessories (cases, power supplies, VGA adapters, etc.) in great mass are a safer bet with Apple.  If you want to stock ten thousand boardrooms with VGA adapters, now would be a good time to adopt iPhone 5’s and standardize on the lightning versions.  On Android, all bets are off as to whether the next generation device will work with existing accessories.

On the other hand, AirPlay and AirPrint are *entirely* enterprise un-friendly and I hope Apple addresses this as they win more business in this space!


Many thanks, Solitaire01.

This is plausible, and might hold for both governmental and private sectors.

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