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Another U.S. Government Agency Drops BlackBerry

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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  • extremepcs
    "It's looking to move up to 8 million employees to the iPhone and Android-powered smartphones"

    The Pentagon has 8 million employees???
    Reply
  • inerax
    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.
    Reply
  • inerax
    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.
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    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
    Reply
  • wemakeourfuture
    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.
    Reply
  • Ragnar-Kon
    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. ;)
    Reply
  • bllue
    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.
    Reply
  • wardoc22
    I thought the us was in debt though...
    Reply
  • azraa
    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.
    Reply
  • spentshells
    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?
    Reply