Print 29 comment(s) - last by Samus.. on Oct 25 at 12:12 PM

Yo man, let's get out of here; Word to your mother

It looks as though beleaguered Research in Motion (RIM) just can't catch a break these days. The company's CEO recently stated that it's no longer reaching for the top and would instead settle for third place. A research analyst recently surmised that RIM's much-needed BlackBerry 10 (BB10) smartphone operating system likely wouldn’t arrive until sometime in March 2013. And the New York Times last week ran a story detailing how some BlackBerry owners are ashamed to be seen in public with the devices.
Now, Reuters is reporting that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency will no longer purchase BlackBerries for its employees. Simply put, ICE concluded that RIM "can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency." Instead, the company states that Apple's iPhone provides a better platform for its operations.
ICE went on to describe how the iPhones will be used:
The devices provide critical, mission support services for ICE personnel and provide modern communication and personal computing services. Examples are: call waiting, call forwarding, three way calling, caller ID, voice mail messaging, geospatial services, and picture/video capabilities.
The iOS services 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.
According to Reuters, ICE will purchase over 17,000 iPhones for its employees, which represents a package deal worth over $2 million.

Apple's iPhone 5
Naturally, officials for RIM are a bit disheartened at Apple stealing food off its dinner plate. "Of course, we are disappointed by this decision," said Paul Lucier, RIM's VP of government solutions. "We are working hard to make our new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10, meets the future needs of government customers."

Sources: Reuters,, The Verge

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how they will be used
By kleinma on 10/22/2012 5:09:54 PM , Rating: 4
I have little love for RIM, but to ditch perfectly good communications devices for shiny, expensive iPhones is friggin stupid, and of course us tax payers get the tab. When the best examples of "modern" technology they will be using is:

call waiting, call forwarding, three way calling, caller ID, voice mail messaging, geospatial services, and picture/video capabilities.

My old dumb phone did nearly all of that, but hey, lets spend a bunch of money on new iPhones, if they have that in the budget, perhaps they are getting too much funding.

RE: how they will be used
By aurareturn on 10/22/2012 5:18:31 PM , Rating: 4
I don't really care if they are switching to iPhone or Android but I agree with you that what are they going to do with an iPhone?

Majority of them will just mess around with them at work and waste time.

RE: how they will be used
By Argon18 on 10/22/12, Rating: -1
RE: how they will be used
By someguy123 on 10/22/2012 10:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
They use windows for the office suite. If all they're doing is data entry than linux with something like libre office would be probably enough, though.

I really don't see how that compares to switching to an expensive touch phone for features the blackberry already has.

RE: how they will be used
By Samus on 10/23/2012 1:29:42 AM , Rating: 2
It actually costs $10 LESS per month on most carriers to have iPhone data opposed to Blackberry data, since RIM charges carriers to reroute traffic through RIM servers.

The tab for the infrastructure and complexity is passed on to the subscriber in the form of an overpriced data package.

I know the trend is to charge for "premium data" with smartphones, but with T-mobile, for example, the $10 and $20/month data plans cover all devices except Blackberry's.

However, Sprint charges premium data for an iPhone which costs as much as a Blackberry device. However, Android devices are covered under regular data packages, so Android would have been the most practical from a price perspective.

I agree with dumping Blackberry, but not neccessarily for an iPhone.

RE: how they will be used
By TakinYourPoints on 10/23/2012 6:36:30 AM , Rating: 1
Why? Blackberry and iPhone are currently the best ways to go if security is a concern. Android is worst in class when it comes to security, which is why you don't see gov't agencies or enterprise (at least on a high security or mission critical level) go with it. Saving a few bucks here and there means little if it means compromising security.

RE: how they will be used
By Samus on 10/23/2012 1:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, ActiveSync is ActiveSync. The security end of iPhone is identical to Android: they both implement the remote access policy the same way. Android can be locked down incredibly tight, requiring strong unlock passwords, device encryption, denied root access and 3rd party apps, etc.

The reason most companies don't use Android is because there is no stable platform . The market is so saturated and evolves so fast that they can't be guaranteed compatible devices with their rollout implementation in the future. WP7/7.5 is even worse in this regard. Blackberry and iOS devices evolve so slowly and stay the same for so long that they make practical business devices.

RE: how they will be used
By kleinma on 10/23/2012 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
That is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard. ActiveSync needs to store credentials on the device. Apple and Google implement encryption and access to the file system differently. You can't take a service protocol like activesync and say that iPhones and Android devices are equal in security because they both support ActiveSync. What about the rest of the operating system infrastructure?

Disclosure: I own an S3 and 4s

RE: how they will be used
By Samus on 10/25/2012 12:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, do your research before you call something a "load of crap"

Microsoft wouldn't license active sync unless they met a certain criteria. In this case, they meet the same security criteria. They both allow for the same policies and management from Active Directory and Exchange policies. Both devices offer identical 128-bit encryption of the file system and its contents.

Hence I stand correct, "Activesync is Activesync" and any device with Microsoft Exchange Activesync must support the same group policy security criteria.

RE: how they will be used
By chizow on 10/23/2012 8:02:38 AM , Rating: 2
Windows Phone would be the natural successor to BB imo, but MS is perpetually late with their Windows Phone products. I know it would take a minor miracle to stem the exodus of BB for iPhone users in my workplace, so I don't know if a BB10 or Win8 Phone will gain any traction at this point.

RE: how they will be used
By marvdmartian on 10/23/2012 8:48:56 AM , Rating: 2
The government, for the most part, actually buys their PC's and laptops without any O/S, then puts their customized Windows image on the units. The customization gets rid of anything that could remotely be "fun" (solitaire, etc), as well as tightens up the security threats that may exist. Since they're licensing so many units at a time, I'm sure they pay next to nothing for the license, per unit (compared to what you or I would pay for, say, an OEM copy).

Besides, since Windows is in the vast majority of personal computers, it only makes sense to use it where they work, and cut down on the learning curve that would be required if they used Linux.

What I'd like to know, concerning the iPhone purchase, is what sort of contracting comparison they used, to determine that iPhones had the system requirements needed AND were cheaper to purchase, than phones with other operating systems. Chances are, someone at the top simply thought they were cooler (or has an iPhone of their own), and utilized a sole-source justification. Any contracting officer worth a damn would have kicked that back, and said 'hell no!'

RE: how they will be used
By Nutzo on 10/23/2012 11:00:10 AM , Rating: 2

I would almost guarantee that the person(s) making this decision is/are an iBot(s).
I’ve seen these types of decisions at a number of schools & local governments, and it’s almost always the case that there is an Apple cheerleader making the decision. Any other options are dismissed because as far as they are concerned nothing compares to Apple.
End result is wasted money, but who cares, it just taxpayers money, not theirs.

RE: how they will be used
By TSS on 10/23/2012 4:53:19 AM , Rating: 2
No they won't, atleast not more then they already did with their current phones.

What this is is just some manager wanting a new toy, while getting the company (in this case, the government) to pay for it. There have probably been alot of requests from personell for the iPhone, that should provide a nice cover (if discovered, blame the people). As for the money, well it's not their money, so who gives a **** anyway. As far as the budget goes, spending more is benificial in government, as it means next year your department can request even more funding for shiny new toys, since the budget wasn't sufficient for the increased workload, or so they'll claim.

That's all it is. People want shiny toys, and they're getting somebody else to pay for them as well. Regardless of what they even do with them.

RE: how they will be used
By drycrust3 on 10/23/2012 11:19:51 AM , Rating: 2
I don't really care if they are switching to iPhone or Android but I agree with you that what are they going to do with an iPhone?

I'm a bus driver, and two apps that I find really useful are Google Maps (with the voice navigation) and an app which tells you in real time when a bus is going to arrive at a bus stop.
For someone like a customs officer, an iPhone isn't so much about the "Phone" as it is the "i" ... the ability to use the iPhone as a mobile terminal. For example, the drug dog finds man with a suitcase of interest, the customs office uses an in house app to check the label on the luggage, confirms the man is the owner, downloads the passport details, finds out where they have traveled to recently, etc, and all without having to leave the man or the suitcase.

RE: how they will be used
By kleinma on 10/23/2012 1:21:34 PM , Rating: 2
So ditch an entire existing fleet of devices that inhouse apps can be written for, to replace with new expensive iDevices that inhouse apps can be written for? Sounds like the Govt to me.

RE: how they will be used
By Rukkian on 10/23/2012 1:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, unless you jailbreak them, in house apps cannot be written, as you have to load software from the appstore. If you jailbreak, then they are at least as vulnerable (if not more so) than an android.

RE: how they will be used
By jimbojimbo on 10/22/2012 5:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding. I'm glad our government agents think call waiting is the latest technology. Surely nothing can provide that except an iPhone 5. Next thing you know all customs agents will tell us that Apple invented caller ID and all those modern technologies.

RE: how they will be used
By invidious on 10/22/2012 5:46:37 PM , Rating: 3
I don't see how anything RIM makes can be considered perfectly good at this point. Why would any organization risk entering a contract with a company that is circling the drain the way RIM is?

If there is a question of wether the company that you are about to enter a $2 million agreement with will still be in business at the end of the contact, it's probably not a company you want to be doing business with.

That being said security should be a top concern for phones issued to government employees and RIM had a good security record. I don't think the same is true of either IOS or Android. Does WinMo?

RE: how they will be used
By Argon18 on 10/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: how they will be used
By retrospooty on 10/22/2012 6:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
IOS and Android both use EAS, which is technically not as secure as Blackberry. Of course it is free and open on the internet where Blackberry is $20 per user per month and requires an additional server onsite and it goes to RIMM's master server so it allows 2 additional points of failure... But it is more secure.

RE: how they will be used
By TakinYourPoints on 10/22/2012 6:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft has quite good security tools. iOS is based around several third party security protocols, and full ActiveSync support is one of its cornerstones.

Hell, MS is great at security on the desktop as well. They should be after Windows XP gave them so many hard lessons on how not to do it.

RE: how they will be used
By TakinYourPoints on 10/22/2012 6:09:41 PM , Rating: 2
iOS is the only real alternative to BB in terms of security. It fully supports ActiveSync and other security protocols, and malware outside of the jailbreak community is not a problem since everything is vetted. This is why enterprise (at least for critical personnel) and government agency adoption has mainly been iOS. I don't know how WP stands except that the platform isn't very well supported by developers, and vanilla Android is a disaster from a security standpoint.

A custom version of Android built around security and with no ability to load unauthorized apps could certainly work, but why take on all that cost and effort when other solutions that work right out of the box are already there?

RE: how they will be used
By Omega215D on 10/22/2012 10:47:16 PM , Rating: 1
I take it you're not familiar with current and recent iterations of Motorola Android phones? The security is there so it would've made more sense to either stick with BB or go for Motorola handsets.

RE: how they will be used
By kmmatney on 10/22/2012 5:52:46 PM , Rating: 2
To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal, Light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle.

RE: how they will be used
By Dug on 10/22/2012 6:03:12 PM , Rating: 2
The cost will be less than keeping up Blackberry. iPhone deployment is very easy. Locking it down to specific apps and abilities depending on the group. Once set up you can add or take away anything you want without user intervention.
All without paying outrageous licensing fees each year to RIM.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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