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Another U.S. Government Agency Drops BlackBerry

By - Source: Bloomberg | B 17 comments

NTSB drops RIM's device due to its unreliability.

Another United States government agency is dropping RIM's BlackBerry in favor of Apple's latest iPhone.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is ditching the device in order for its employees to utilize the iPhone 5 instead. The agency announced its plan during a government filing last week, with the reason being that BlackBerry isn't reliable.

BlackBerry devices have been "failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate," the agency said. The organization, which has 400 employees, "requires effective, reliable and stable communication capabilities to carry out its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations."

The NTSB is responsible for instantly investigating airplane accidents alongside other transportation disasters. RIM has experienced two global service disruptions on its network, including one that occurred in September, which may have played its part in the agency's decision.

Research in Motion, however, pointed towards the number of government employees it currently provides its services to. "Government organizations globally have trusted the reliability and security of BlackBerry for over a decade. They can continue to do so," the firm told CNET.

"We have 1 million government customers in North America alone who depend on BlackBerry, and more than 400,000 government customers worldwide upgraded their devices in the past year," it added. "We are committed to the mobility needs of government agencies around the world and will continue to meet these needs with BlackBerry 10."

The Pentagon is another high-profile government agency that had announced plans to drop RIM's devices. It's looking to move up to 8 million employees to the iPhone and Android-powered smartphones. Authorities aren't the only ones moving away from BlackBerry, however; a total of 25,000 staff members will also make the same transition from consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, as will the 17,600 employees stemming from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

BlackBerry 10, meanwhile, is due for a launch on January 30, 2013. The upcoming mobile platform has passed government security certification, allowing the operating system to be used within secure government workplaces.

 

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  • 11 Hide
    bllue , November 23, 2012 6:41 PM
    So, how much were they bribed by Apple to change? There's a giant budget deficit and the government is buying $800 iPhones for their employees. Awesome use of tax payer money to buy overpriced status symbol.
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    extremepcs , November 23, 2012 5:10 PM
    "It's looking to move up to 8 million employees to the iPhone and Android-powered smartphones"

    The Pentagon has 8 million employees???
  • 1 Hide
    inerax , November 23, 2012 5:25 PM
    extremepcs"It's looking to move up to 8 million employees to the iPhone and Android-powered smartphones"The Pentagon has 8 million employees???


    Glad thats what you took out of this news article ;) 

    about 20-25k people work inside the pentagon.

    I bet the pentagon controls over 8 million people and they could decide to switch them if needed.
  • 2 Hide
    inerax , November 23, 2012 5:30 PM
    ineraxGlad thats what you took out of this news article about 20-25k people work inside the pentagon.I bet the pentagon controls over 8 million people and they could decide to switch them if needed.


    thinking about it that doesn't make sense.... 8 million federal workers in the US? i dont think so.... correct the article lol.
  • 0 Hide
    chicofehr , November 23, 2012 5:44 PM
    I want to know is how old are these handsets that they are using. Here in Canada, many of the Gov't are still using the BB7250!!!! If they are using old handsets then that would explain why they are not reliable. Gov't doesn't upgrade every year like the punks now a days. I have the 9900 and its very reliable and works great for business purposes. It only crashes when the battery dies :p 
  • 0 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , November 23, 2012 6:12 PM
    otacon72Government agencies use ancient hardware. They are using BlackBerries that are probably 2+ years old. I've never had any issue ever with any BlackBerry I've owned. Now I've also upgraded every time a new model has come out also. RIM had 80 million users..losing 400 isn't exactly a big deal.


    Its a huge negative trend amongst enterprise and government Blackberry users. RIM sadly thought they had a monopoly over these sectors and its eroding faster and faster.

    They may have 80 million users but what's the rate of growth? We don't need to get into all the metrics, we all know RIM is a dying company that failed to innovate and offered obsolete products for years.

    May RIM RIP.
  • 5 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , November 23, 2012 6:35 PM
    ineraxthinking about it that doesn't make sense.... 8 million federal workers in the US? i dont think so.... correct the article lol.

    Well I know there are ~2.0-2.2 million federal civilian employees total.

    Which means one or more of the following...
    A) Our military is friggen' gigantic at 5.8+ million employees.
    B) The 8 million number includes state workers and/or government contractors.
    C) Everyone in the government gets 4 phones.
    D) Zak screwed up.

    If I were a bettin' man, I'd pick option D (sorry Zak).

    Anyway, not surprised. Out of all of the old hard-core Blackberry users that I know, only one of them is still using a Blackberry. But I'm nearly positive she'll die with a Blackberry in her hand, so not sure if I should count her towards the total or just label her a statistical anomaly. ;) 
  • 11 Hide
    bllue , November 23, 2012 6:41 PM
    So, how much were they bribed by Apple to change? There's a giant budget deficit and the government is buying $800 iPhones for their employees. Awesome use of tax payer money to buy overpriced status symbol.
  • 1 Hide
    wardoc22 , November 23, 2012 7:31 PM
    I thought the us was in debt though...
  • 3 Hide
    azraa , November 23, 2012 8:25 PM
    Whoa whoa wait a second. A few week ago, Zak himself did post an article here, stating that the FBI or a security firm (dont remember) deemed the newest Blackberry THE most secure, hacking-proof device.

    Zak, are you copy/pasting this crap, or is just that you like Apple so much that you need to contradict yourself to favor them?
    Getting tired of this, dude.
  • 0 Hide
    spentshells , November 23, 2012 8:53 PM
    I can't wait for the very first employee to sync/backup the device to a public computer
    This is going to end up a real nightmare.

    1 good BES admin should be able to juggle 100 users as full time job

    How many IT personal in another country will it take to support a bunch of babyheads with iphones?
  • 2 Hide
    unksol , November 23, 2012 9:10 PM
    azraaWhoa whoa wait a second. A few week ago, Zak himself did post an article here, stating that the FBI or a security firm (dont remember) deemed the newest Blackberry THE most secure, hacking-proof device.Zak, are you copy/pasting this crap, or is just that you like Apple so much that you need to contradict yourself to favor them?Getting tired of this, dude.



    All Toms news articles are copy pasted from other sites. They don't do any actual reporting. That's why they are so far behind, they have to wait for someone else to write something interesting for them to copy, then throw in a bunch of links and factual mistakes

    That being said, it's just a report that they are switching. He didn't make them switch to apple, nor were security issues brought up as the reason. He even said black berry 10 passed and linked to it. Your complaint is just dumb.

    We all know what's happening. They are using old phones, and someone wanted a free iPhone so we get to pay for it.

    As for the 8 million "employees" he copied that from the Washington post for the original article, and still managed to get it wrong, which said they were building a system which MAY be expanded to be capable of handle 8 million DEVICES. Not users. Never said there will actually be 8 million. Or even that the users will all be employees. Or what devices this new system will be expanded to handle. Probably any mobile device including laptops/tablets etc. as we are well aware someone can have more than one device....
  • 0 Hide
    unksol , November 23, 2012 9:18 PM
    Quote:
    I can't wait for the very first employee to sync/backup the device to a public computer
    This is going to end up a real nightmare.

    1 good BES admin should be able to juggle 100 users as full time job

    How many IT personal in another country will it take to support a bunch of babyheads with iphones?


    There are security.management programs. My friend was forced to buy iPads for the sales guys because they wanted a toy. he locked them down so tight one guy actually gave it back once he figured out it was actually expected to be used for work and not as his personal toy, and went out and bought his own.

    The same should happen here. It's a sad waste of our money, but at least We can laugh at them when they find out what they can't do
  • 3 Hide
    Stevemeister , November 23, 2012 10:07 PM
    Nice to know government agencies are spending more than they need to at the taxpayers expense
  • 0 Hide
    chewy1963 , November 23, 2012 11:34 PM
    ineraxthinking about it that doesn't make sense.... 8 million federal workers in the US? i dont think so.... correct the article lol.


    Technically every soldier, sailor, airman, and marine are pentagon employees. Plus all the civilian support staff that work at every US base in the world. I could see that totaling around 8 million.
  • 2 Hide
    chewy1963 , November 23, 2012 11:38 PM
    I can't imagine that iPhones could possibly pass government security tests/protocols....
  • 1 Hide
    shqtth , November 24, 2012 4:24 PM
    Apple must be buying there way into the government. That was 400+ billion gets you :o 
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , November 26, 2012 2:13 AM

    I'd rather see secured Android devices than iPhones but the folks support are not saavy enough to appreciate the difference.