US Immigration and Customs drops BlackBerry for iPhone

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will be ending its contract with RIM, makers of BlackBerry smartphones and instead be signing a new deal with Apple, purchasing an iPhone for more than 17,600 employees, which comes in at a whopping $2.1 million.

On the move they said,

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

The agency also said to Reuters that it had analysed both Google's Android and Apple's iOS and concluded that Apple's iPhone offered the best technology for them due to Apple's tight controls on the operating system and hardware.

This doesn't come as a surprise as BlackBerry smartphones have so far failed to keep up with competition, however RIM hopes to regain ground with it's BlackBerry 10 software and devices.

Source: Reuters Images: Apple, BlackBerry

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40 Comments

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Our agency has been forced to to "upgrade" from BlackBerry to iPhone. They are terrible for business use, not to mention the AT&T coverage ON SITE with the iPhone is 1-2 bars *at best*.

Outlook Exchange functionality is far superior on the BB. Our clients here on site wonder what the hell they were thinking at HQ. Fashion over function.

I miss my BB for work.

I have a WP7 for personal use.

Erikas said,
Hope they won't get lost with their MAPS
You did it wrong. Scroll up to see an example of doin it right.

Im not a fan of blackberry, but even though its government, its still very much a corporate type workforce. I would bet that with the amount of emails some of these guys send out and receive on a daily basis they will not be at all happy to give up their physical keyboard.

So they move from BB (highly secure corporate environment) to the least secure consumer phone OS.
That sounds like a great move. lol

ahhell said,
So they move from BB (highly secure corporate environment) to the least secure consumer phone OS.
That sounds like a great move. lol

Least secure? You just flapping your gums or do you have proof?

I don't recall seeing anything anywhere saying iOS is the least secure.

ahhell said,
So they move from BB (highly secure corporate environment) to the least secure consumer phone OS.
That sounds like a great move. lol

You couldn't be more wrong. iOS is much more secure than Android due to its locked down nature. Good in some ways, bad in other ways.

xstex said,

You couldn't be more wrong. iOS is much more secure than Android due to its locked down nature. Good in some ways, bad in other ways.

He was talking about BB, not Android. BlackBerry is known for giving tight control over phones and great security. There are a number of enterprise features that have been only BB for 5+ years that still are not found on iOS without 3rd party apps. I am not trying to say that BB is the better platform, just saying that BB has supported business needs for over a decade and has built a product to meet those needs. They just massively feel short on keeping up in other areas.

Do they REALLY need to move to something from BB? I understand why they want to, but give me a valid reason to do so for that kind of money.

kryten said,
Do they REALLY need to move to something from BB? I understand why they want to, but give me a valid reason to do so for that kind of money.

exactly, doesn't meet the mobile technology needs? what in the world do they need to do on their phones? speechless.

kryten said,
Do they REALLY need to move to something from BB? I understand why they want to, but give me a valid reason to do so for that kind of money.

"That kind of money"???? So if they are buying 17,600 iPhones for $2.1M they are getting them for $119 each. Consider that they already have 17,600 smart phones. How much do you think they are spending on monthly service? Put it into perspective. Also, if they didn't buy iPhones they would buy more Blackberrys. Really the only cost of moving would be the cost of testing and training.

kryten said,
Do they REALLY need to move to something from BB? I understand why they want to, but give me a valid reason to do so for that kind of money.

It's only money.

n_K said,
I find it funny that they'd pick iOS over the NSA's modified secure android selinux....

I was thinking along the same lines. Maybe they get access to some source code and potentially allowed to make their own modifications(?). 17,600 employees should warrant some in-house control / software and shouldn't be left to the manufacturer

ShMaunder said,

I was thinking along the same lines. Maybe they get access to some source code and potentially allowed to make their own modifications(?). 17,600 employees should warrant some in-house control / software and shouldn't be left to the manufacturer


AHAHAHA. It's Apple that you are talking about.

Strange how there is no mention of WP in there, you think they would have considered that based on the secure OS etc

Wonder how much longer BB can stay up-right with this kind of news

brent3000 said,
Strange how there is no mention of WP in there, you think they would have considered that based on the secure OS etc

Wonder how much longer BB can stay up-right with this kind of news


The problem with agencies etc is, that you need months, sometimes up to a year or even more of testing and certifying for the many use cases of those devices.
Now, you need to do that with final devices, final OS versions, etc...

It might very well be they won't even use the iPhone 5, but the 4s instead, as that's what they have tested.

I can somehow understand that they excluded Windows Phone, as the platform currently undergoes a big change, so investing into a tested platform that might fail future tests, simply because of such a massive revamp at the core, might not seem feasible to them.

Must admit I was surprised in the first moment, too though.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

The problem with agencies etc is, that you need months, sometimes up to a year or even more of testing and certifying for the many use cases of those devices.
Now, you need to do that with final devices, final OS versions, etc...

It might very well be they won't even use the iPhone 5, but the 4s instead, as that's what they have tested.

I can somehow understand that they excluded Windows Phone, as the platform currently undergoes a big change, so investing into a tested platform that might fail future tests, simply because of such a massive revamp at the core, might not seem feasible to them.

Must admit I was surprised in the first moment, too though.

GS:mac

Well, in case they DO get the 4S, I hope they drop-tested it.

brent3000 said,
Strange how there is no mention of WP in there, you think they would have considered that based on the secure OS etc

Wonder how much longer BB can stay up-right with this kind of news

But BB 10 will fix everything :-)

MeltedMacaroni said,
Going with the best, who can blame them.

One does not simply say the iPhone is the best on Neowin and get away with it ^^
(not hating in any direction, all in good spirit )

GS:mac

MeltedMacaroni said,
Going with the best, who can blame them.

Oh I must have misread; it looked liked they were going to start using the overly-hyped and overpriced iPhones.

They should have waited for the infinitely better Windows 8 Phones coming out. Oh well, like most people, they just go along with all the other iSheep who think Apple makes the best of the best. I mean, they must since they're the most expensive, right?

Glassed Silver said,

One does not simply say the iPhone is the best on Neowin and get away with it ^^
(not hating in any direction, all in good spirit )

GS:mac

This, he'll be hated forever XD

devHead said,

Oh I must have misread; it looked liked they were going to start using the overly-hyped and overpriced iPhones.

They should have waited for the infinitely better Windows 8 Phones coming out. Oh well, like most people, they just go along with all the other iSheep who think Apple makes the best of the best. I mean, they must since they're the most expensive, right?

As*holes, they're forcing you to buy an iPhone!

myxomatosis said,

As*holes, they're forcing you to buy an iPhone!


Well, whilst I think the iPhones aren't bad purchases at all, you could say that they pay them from tax payer's money, so if devHead is a US American, he DID indeed kind of get forced to pay for iPhones...

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Well, whilst I think the iPhones aren't bad purchases at all, you could say that they pay them from tax payer's money, so if devHead is a US American, he DID indeed kind of get forced to pay for iPhones...

GS:mac

Yeah, actually I am a US American. I just think it's funny that they likely thought - 'Oh, iPhones are the best phone there is, so we gotta get that.'

To sanctified, if you think the only reason to dislike Apple products, their underhanded business tactics, the artificially jacked up prices of their products is because Steve Jobs raped a family member, then you've really got pulled into their iWeb, bro.

devHead said,

To sanctified, if you think the only reason to dislike Apple products, their underhanded business tactics, the artificially jacked up prices of their products is because Steve Jobs raped a family member, then you've really got pulled into their iWeb, bro.

There are no real reasons to dislike a company. Just dont buy their products.

To spew such hatred, wasting your time, that's dedication.

MeltedMacaroni said,
Going with the best, who can blame them.

WHY U LIKEDED IPHONES 6!!! I H8 IPHONE!! RIMBERYY 4 MEE!

^iHater
But seriously, I would rather use WP8

sanctified said,

There are no real reasons to dislike a company. Just dont buy their products.

To spew such hatred, wasting your time, that's dedication.

That is a good point.

devHead said,

Oh I must have misread; it looked liked they were going to start using the overly-hyped and overpriced iPhones.

They should have waited for the infinitely better Windows 8 Phones coming out. Oh well, like most people, they just go along with all the other iSheep who think Apple makes the best of the best. I mean, they must since they're the most expensive, right?

So true.

devHead said,

Oh I must have misread; it looked liked they were going to start using the overly-hyped and overpriced iPhones.

They should have waited for the infinitely better Windows 8 Phones coming out. Oh well, like most people, they just go along with all the other iSheep who think Apple makes the best of the best. I mean, they must since they're the most expensive, right?

Naw man they shoulda gone with the infinitelier betterer KIN bro, like all the Microtards did, remember?