Print 21 comment(s) - last by Pirks.. on Mar 1 at 1:19 PM

Special agents in the field to be the first to get new iPhones

RIM’s line of BlackBerry smartphones has long been losing favor among consumers and businesses alike in the United States. Consumers who were once inseparable from their “CrackBerries” are now turning in increasing numbers to Apple’s iPhone or any number of smartphones using Google’s Android operating system.
RIM is now taking flak from the U.S. government, which it has long relied on for much of its business. The latest government agency to move away from BlackBerry smartphones is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The ATF is set to ditch about 3,800 BlackBerry smartphones in a move that should be complete within roughly a year.
The BlackBerries devices will mostly be replaced by Apple iPhones. ATF chief information officer Rick Holgate simply stated, "We’re going to delete the BlackBerry from the mix." He also noted that more than 60 percent of the replacement devices are initially planned to be the iPhone.
This is the second federal agency to ditch the BlackBerry in favor of the Apple smartphone. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is also set to phase out about 3,000 BlackBerry smartphones.
The ATF plans to start the transition in March by replacing roughly 2,400 BlackBerries in use by special agents in the field. The ATF also intends to eliminate about 1,400 BlackBerry devices that other employees use with a mix of other unspecified smart devices. Some of those will likely be replaced with the iPad; a test involving about 200 of those tablets is wrapping up at the ATF now.
Holgate added, "The government has been very comfortable with the BlackBerry model for 10 years. Now we're looking to move beyond that."
Politico reports that right now ATF is prepping its mobile device infrastructure to support the iPhone purchase.
According to Holgate, the BlackBerry infrastructure is too expensive to maintain and that while cost was a reason for moving away from the BlackBerry devices, functionality was the main reason for the move.
“Video streaming, GPS capability, capabilities, the camera … a variety of things,” Holgate said. “Yes, these things exist on BlackBerrys, but in terms of ease of use and adaptability of the devices, the iPhones are the more functional and compelling use case.”

Source: Politico

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

not news
By zephyrprime on 2/29/2012 12:36:31 PM , Rating: 2
I have a blackberry provided by work. Also, I work for a non-govt publicly listed company. The writing is on the wall here. Everyone is abandoning the blackberry. I don't even know why DT is bothering with an article on this. Every company in corporate america is abandoning the blackberry so it's no surprise that the government is abandoning it also.

RE: not news
By Lord 666 on 2/29/2012 1:17:32 PM , Rating: 5
Things go in cycles. For a work phone, please tell me what a Blackberry 9930 or 9850 can't do that is work related but an iPhone can? Think this has more to do with IT people being pressured by staff to support a tech because its cool. Not even talking about BYOD.

With BB Fusion, the management will be just the same. I only care about MVS at this point. Anyway I feel the iOS email client sucks compared to BB.

RE: not news
By retrospooty on 2/29/2012 1:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
"Think this has more to do with IT people being pressured by staff to support a tech because its cool"

That is exactly what is happening. I deal with it daily. People come to me wanting to drop thier Blackberries in favor of better phones. Not because they dont work, or dont do the same things, but because they suck to use.

We have a simple policy now. When your 2 year is up, you can choose any phone you want. Most go with various Android models. Many go with iPhone and no-one wants a Blackberry anymore. Its over.

RE: not news
By Zingam on 2/29/2012 3:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
When everybody gets an iPhone, iPhone will stop being cool. :D

RE: not news
By retrospooty on 2/29/2012 1:12:09 PM , Rating: 2
"Every company in corporate america is abandoning the blackberry so it's no surprise that the government is abandoning it also."

Exactly... Although QNX looks good, it isnt out until late 2012 if it isnt delayed again. It will prolly be too little too late. Hard to make a comeback with IOS and Android so deeply entrenched.

RE: not news
By Zingam on 2/29/2012 3:58:59 PM , Rating: 1
Coz probably Apple pays for it? :D

Justice Dept
By fic2 on 2/29/2012 11:06:27 AM , Rating: 1
A friend of mine that works for the Justice Dept would love to ditch her Blackberry in favor of an iPhone.

I wish I had a job that provided me with a smartphone. Instead since I don't work for the gov't I actually have to pay for my own service.

RE: Justice Dept
By AMDftw on 2/29/12, Rating: -1
RE: Justice Dept
By shin0bi272 on 2/29/2012 11:25:49 AM , Rating: 2
You'd want to VPN in as well with an iPhone. Since you have to delete emails 1 at a time with it. Try deleting 100 emails an hour like that. Its not fun!

RE: Justice Dept
By messele on 2/29/2012 11:46:57 AM , Rating: 2
You do realise you, choose 'edit', select the emails then click delete from the list view right. Surely you're not deleting from within each individual email?

RE: Justice Dept
By kmmatney on 2/29/2012 2:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
My company gives us an option of buying an iPhone if we want. Since the company pays for the phone contract, we can buy at the contract prices, so for $200 you can have an iPhone with no other costs involved. I was able to sell my old 3GS for more than I paid for it when I upgraded to the 4S.

RE: Justice Dept
By Pirks on 3/1/2012 1:19:01 PM , Rating: 2
The screens are way to small
Your little rat brain is too small to see the big 3.7" screen on the BB Torch 9850 :P

And security is OUT the window...
By quiksilvr on 2/29/2012 11:12:22 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, the GUI is arguably easier to understand, however these things better be jailbroken if you want to make them even remotely secure.

By TakinYourPoints on 3/1/2012 1:48:14 AM , Rating: 2
Out of the non-Blackberry options out there, iOS is the most secure for a device at rest as it fully supports all ActiveSync protocols for mobile devices. iOS uses 40 or so while Android supports about half a dozen. This is before we get into applications which are all vetted versus an ecosystem that is rife with malware even in Google's own marketplace.

For security, there is basically Blackberry or iOS. It is hard to think of Android as anything but a casual mobile OS. I unfortunately don't know much about WP7 and where it stands as far as ActiveSync, but I do know that Microsoft also vets applications for malware and has an emphasis on security.

Either way, security is a huge reason why enterprise is deloying iPads and not Honeycomb or ICS tablets, and the same is happening here with iPhones. If Blackberry kept up with their technology then perhaps they would still be a viable option going forward.

yaaay government!
By shin0bi272 on 2/29/2012 11:30:55 AM , Rating: 1
lets not quibble here... the government always screws stuff up. So they are going from a phone that is designed for work to a phone designed for the technologically impaired. BRILLIANT! Now our ATF agents will be playing angry birds instead of stopping those guns from going to mexico... which Im sure Eric Holder had NO idea about.

RE: yaaay government!
By retrospooty on 2/29/2012 12:03:44 PM , Rating: 3
"So they are going from a phone that is designed for work "

They are going from a phone designed for work over a decade ago. You left off a very important part. Outdated tech is always left in the past. If you ask me, I am amazed it lasted this long.

Who would like to bet
By Natch on 2/29/2012 1:44:24 PM , Rating: 4
....that no one in ATF did any sort of price/cost analysis, comparing the iPhones with any other type of smart phone (say, ANDROID??), to find out whether there was another phone model available that would do the job needed, at a lower cost?? You know, like it's required, by law, in every government procurement.

Personally, I think it would be hilarious if someone at ATF dropped a dime, and did a fraud, waste & abuse hotline call on this!

RE: Who would like to bet
By hiscross on 2/29/12, Rating: 0
By Hyperion1400 on 2/29/2012 3:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
3800 Iphones eh? What's the running now, looks like $200+contract; so let's just call it an even $1000?

How about, you use some of the 3.8 million to hire a few more bureaucrats, to shovel some of the paperwork you seem to be so far behind on. Ya know, so maybe my NFA paperwork won't take 4 F***ING MONTHS to go through!

And the winner is...
By Zingam on 2/29/2012 3:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
The You-re-holding-it-wrong phone wins! :D

Where are they getting the money?
By navair2 on 2/29/2012 9:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, right....CHINA!!

The United States government is so far in the hole they shouldn't be able to update ANYTHING for the next 3-5 years, at least until a significant portion of the 15 TRILLION dollars of national debt is dealt with.


"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki