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U.S. Immigration agency abandons BlackBerry because it no longer keeps up with its needs

News by Andrew Kameka on Monday October 22, 2012.

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The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has decided to cease using RIM BlackBerry phones, opting to migrate thousands of employees to Apple iOS devices instead. The switch is a necessary move because BlackBerry phones "can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency," according to a document discovered by Reuters.

ICE filed a solicitation notice of its intention to purchase 17,676 iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) from various carriers to distribute to employees. The contract was awarded September 28 and a synopsis was provided October 17 detailing the motivation for the change. ICE opted for the iPhone over BlackBerry and Android devices because it "ensures uniform deployment and identifies security threats." Security was once the unrivaled domain of BlackBerry, but the immigration agency believes the iPhone adds dependable device management and more features related to communication and multimedia that suit the needs of its employees.

While RIM has struggled mightily to retain consumer attention in recent years, the company has managed to be the leading platform among corporate and government contracts because of its deep security and device management services. Despite that track record, customers large and small have begun migrating employees to other options like Apple's iPhone or various Google Android devices. ICE's decision to switch comes at a time when RIM is working to prepare its BlackBerry 10 operating system for release early next year. RIM hopes that consumers and governments will flock to the new software early next year.

source: Federal Business Opportunities

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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