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ICE federal agency to buy iPhones for 17,600 employees, snubbing BlackBerry

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 22 Oct 2012 18:56 User comments (5)

ICE federal agency to buy iPhones for 17,600 employees, snubbing BlackBerry BlackBerry hurting as federal agency to spend $2.1 million on switching to iPhones.
These are not good days for Research in Motion (RIM) and the BlackBerry brand, and it is no secret. While RIM is betting on its upcoming BB10 smartphone, which will compete with iPhones and Android devices, it has lost some important business lately. The latest blow comes as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) prepares to arm 17,600 employees with iPhones, ending a long partnership with BlackBerry.

According to ICE, RIM "can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency." It picked Apple's devices over Android phones because of Apple's strict controls over the hardware platform and operating system.

"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 declared in a solicitation document posted last week.

BlackBerry's have been popular among government and enterprise users for years, largely due to perceived supremacy in security over the competition. Apple has done some work in this area to make iPhones more appealing to government and business.

RIM still says it has over one million government customers in North America, taking the ICE move into account. "Of course, we are disappointed by this decision," said RIM vice president of government solutions Paul Lucier. "We are working hard to make our new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10, meets the future needs of government customers."

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5 user comments

125.10.2012 10:28

Another nail in the coffin for RIM...the only thing keeping them going is their solid corporate and government usage, but even this is gradually slipping away...

225.10.2012 14:00

Stick a fork in Blackberry's azz, they're done.

I worked Tech Support for a major wireless carrier, and IMO Blackberry is horrible. They simply haven't kept up with Apple and Android, and now it's too late.

326.10.2012 22:41

Originally posted by bdaleypsu:
Stick a fork in Blackberry's azz, they're done.

I worked Tech Support for a major wireless carrier, and IMO Blackberry is horrible. They simply haven't kept up with Apple and Android, and now it's too late.
I tend to agree with you. I used to be an avid CrackBerry addict. I absolutely loved their phones, as they did what I needed them to do. But when I ran into a problem with an errant app, I couldn't get support for it. I was kinda surprised, as they're all made the same way (at least in the same model line). It's not as if each Blackberry is customized. I could find absolutely *nothing* about my problem (some obscure java error). I can't imagine I was the first to encounter this, as the error message seemed to be a standard message. I even emailed their tech support, and the silence was deafening.

Needless to say, I dumped the BlackBerry, and have never looked back. Sorry BlackBerry, but when you ignore your customers, we tend to move on...

427.10.2012 0:27

Originally posted by phobet:
Originally posted by bdaleypsu:
Stick a fork in Blackberry's azz, they're done.

I worked Tech Support for a major wireless carrier, and IMO Blackberry is horrible. They simply haven't kept up with Apple and Android, and now it's too late.
I tend to agree with you. I used to be an avid CrackBerry addict. I absolutely loved their phones, as they did what I needed them to do. But when I ran into a problem with an errant app, I couldn't get support for it. I was kinda surprised, as they're all made the same way (at least in the same model line). It's not as if each Blackberry is customized. I could find absolutely *nothing* about my problem (some obscure java error). I can't imagine I was the first to encounter this, as the error message seemed to be a standard message. I even emailed their tech support, and the silence was deafening.

Needless to say, I dumped the BlackBerry, and have never looked back. Sorry BlackBerry, but when you ignore your customers, we tend to move on...
I know I'm getting off topic here, but it never ceases to amaze me how many companies seemly try to get away with poor customer service by ignoring emails or web based queries.
Would they ignore me if i called them, or stood in a queue somewhere? No, but because I choose a different channel, I prefer internet, they think they can. BW, not talking specifically RIM/BB here, but many places.

527.10.2012 2:45

Originally posted by ChikaraNZ:
Originally posted by phobet:
Originally posted by bdaleypsu:
Stick a fork in Blackberry's azz, they're done.

I worked Tech Support for a major wireless carrier, and IMO Blackberry is horrible. They simply haven't kept up with Apple and Android, and now it's too late.
I tend to agree with you. I used to be an avid CrackBerry addict. I absolutely loved their phones, as they did what I needed them to do. But when I ran into a problem with an errant app, I couldn't get support for it. I was kinda surprised, as they're all made the same way (at least in the same model line). It's not as if each Blackberry is customized. I could find absolutely *nothing* about my problem (some obscure java error). I can't imagine I was the first to encounter this, as the error message seemed to be a standard message. I even emailed their tech support, and the silence was deafening.

Needless to say, I dumped the BlackBerry, and have never looked back. Sorry BlackBerry, but when you ignore your customers, we tend to move on...
I know I'm getting off topic here, but it never ceases to amaze me how many companies seemly try to get away with poor customer service by ignoring emails or web based queries.
Would they ignore me if i called them, or stood in a queue somewhere? No, but because I choose a different channel, I prefer internet, they think they can. BW, not talking specifically RIM/BB here, but many places.
If they're AT&T, they would. I had a mobile hotspot I was having trouble with. So naturally, I brought it back to the brick & mortar I bought it from. (I believe in supporting local stores). They told me that I needed to contact AT&T, arrange with their tech support. I found that to be totally unacceptable, and never went back. I might as well go to Best Buy for anything related to AT&T. I get the same amount of service, and could get other stuff while I'm there.

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