ICE, ICE Baby! U.S. Immigration Office Dumps BlackBerry Smartphones for iPhones
October 22, 2012 4:34 PM
comment(s) - last by
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
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.
, 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."
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RE: how they will be used
10/23/2012 8:48:56 AM
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
10/23/2012 11:00:10 AM
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.
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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