The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has confirmed it will end its contract with BlackBerry owner Research In Motion, with the move resulting in 17,600 employees having their BlackBerry devices switched out in favor of the iPhone. The agency said it plans to purchase iPhone units for more than 17,600 employees, equaling a total purchase price of $2.1 million. It stressed that the firm has relied on RIM for eight years, but the financially struggling company "can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency."
ICE analyzed Apple's iOS devices and Google's Android operating system and found that the iPhone offers the best platform because it's not as open as the latter.
Apple's iPhone will be utilized 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." The agency says iPhone services will allow these individuals to leverage "reliable, mobile technology on a secure and manageable platform" in furtherance of the agency's mission.
Consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton recently confirmed plans to drop BlackBerry and make a transition to iPhone and Android smartphones for around 25,000 employees.