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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the second government agency to leave BlackBerry this year

BlackBerry maker Research-In-Motion (RIM) has lost two U.S. government agency which used its services, and will now cut the fees it charges for BlackBerry service in an attempt to prevent anyone else from leaving. 

Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that it would let go of its BlackBerry servers by June 2012 in an effort to cut costs. And we recently reported that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is following suit. 

RIM has its own network infrastructure where it can encrypt, compress and direct data to BlackBerry devices through its cellular network. This seemed ideal for the workplace, where BlackBerry phones quickly became popular.

However, fees that RIM charges carriers for the BlackBerry service has put a bit of financial strain and headache on those carriers. Also, competition like Apple's iOS and Google's Android-based smartphones are beginning to be used in the workplace, and offer more user-friendly features as well as improved security features without the added costs of the BlackBerry service. In other words, BlackBerry devices are not the only suitable professional smartphones on the block anymore.


RIM now says it plans to slash the fees it charges carriers for BlackBerry service at some point this year in an effort to save itself from losing anymore customers. It also plans to introduce its BlackBerry 10 smartphones in late 2012 as well as new software called Mobile Fusion, which allows "core enterprise customers" to manage the company's competitors' devices.

RIM was also hit hard last October when BlackBerry customers around the world experienced a service blackout. Customers from the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa had problems with messaging and browsing for four days, which can be detrimental in a workplace.

RIM is clearly beginning to feel the pressure, as RIM shares fell 4.3 percent to $13.20 on Monday afternoon. Since February 2011, RIM has lost 80 percent of its value because of its unimpressive product launches and bleak earnings as well as reduced U.S. market share.

Source: Reuters

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Get BB Services on iOS
By quiksilvr on 3/6/2012 11:38:44 AM , Rating: 2
Go software. It's the only logical step to take at this point. Their phones will NEVER become popular enough to sustain the company and it is time they realize that their strengths (the software) should be applied on other platforms.

They still have name value. Use it before people realize they can get the same security for free.

RE: Get BB Services on iOS
By goodsyntax on 3/6/2012 12:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
Apple has name value. So does Google.

RIM??? Not so least not anymore.

At this point, RIM's execution is so poor, and the hardware so obsolete, that I think that anyone who is considering a smart phone probably doesn't even pay a single thought to Blackberries, unless the phone is issued to them by their employer.

And to say that their strength is the software, ahem...Playbook, well that is just another launch that was poorly executed. Not for nothing, but their Enterprise Server is not really anything that spectacular and there are free (or low cost) alternatives already out there.

At least the first step was implemented, which was to get rid of their co-CEO's. Time will tell if they can turn the ship around, but, honestly, I don't think that they can. At this point, they are in a conundrum - they have to create a new handset and new OS (including apps and market) to attract new users, but they risk alienating their existing base if they do so. Sure, they could embrace a custom Android OS (like the Kindle Fire), but that's desperate, and a sign that the end is near.

It's unfortunate to see the company that created the "smartphone" be destroyed by arrogant and inflexible co-CEO's. If they were more agile and adapted to changes in the industry, they would still be a heavyweight. Instead they sat by idly, watching Android and iOS dominate the market that they originally created.

RE: Get BB Services on iOS
By retrospooty on 3/6/2012 1:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
"At this point, RIM's execution is so poor, and the hardware so obsolete, that I think that anyone who is considering a smart phone probably doesn't even pay a single thought to Blackberries, unless the phone is issued to them by their employer."

Even when employers give it, people are complaining. Alot of IT holdouts are jumping off the BB wagon because the users are screaming for better phones.

RE: Get BB Services on iOS
By Arsynic on 3/6/2012 2:35:02 PM , Rating: 2
Many IT shops are ditching it because it's a pain in the ass to manage.

RE: Get BB Services on iOS
By Zingam on 3/6/2012 3:55:46 PM , Rating: 1
How is an iPhone a better phone if it cannot managed even the most basic thing: to work for 24 hours without a recharge?

None of the local businesses here (I don't live in the USA) give smartphones to their workers. All I have seen are the most simple models the ones designed to actually work as a phone and that have 4-5-6-7 hours of talk time and can be dropped 100 times from 10 feet without breaking. And of course workers cannot play Angry Birds on them too. :D

RE: Get BB Services on iOS
By jimbojimbo on 3/6/2012 8:54:57 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Blackberry and a Droid 3, which also doesn't last 24 hours with regular use. You know what? I hate using the BB since there is no software that I want that'll run well on it and also doesn't cost 10x the same thing in the Android marketplace. It's also significantly less efficient for what I want. It's literally only good for email, calendar, BBM, contacts, and notes. Of course the thing lasts longer than my Droid 3 since I never use it!
I have both devices since I manage Exchange and BES for our company.

RE: Get BB Services on iOS
By Omega215D on 3/6/2012 1:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
Blackberries are still pretty relevant as they do provide camera-less versions of their phones for corporate and government use. They're also good with battery life and messaging. Security used to be their exclusive but Motorola has corporate and govt level security on their recent Android phones.

Sadly RIM has taken too long in bringing QNX to their phones while focusing on updating BB OS only for their most recent phones (nothing for Storm 2 and various Bolds after). The updates don't really bring any of the features up to par with other phone OSes.

I had a 9930, and while it was great for the basic stuff it was lacking in web browsing (compared to Android, iOS and Palm) and many of the apps that were of great use to me on Android were not on BB.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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