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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has announced that it is dropping its BlackBerry smartphones for a new fleet of iPhone 5s

Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry line of devices have been a staple in the enterprise and government sectors for years, but recently, that monopoly has crumbled and there's no signs of that stopping.

In a trend that seems to be ongoing, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has announced that it is dropping its BlackBerry smartphones for a new fleet of iPhone 5s. The board's reasoning is that its BlackBerrys "have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate."

Before the NTSB, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ditched their BlackBerrys in May in favor of iPhones. Immigration and Customs Enforcement followed suit in September, and in October, the Defense Department left its BlackBerrys behind and chose to go with Android and Apple devices instead.

A lot of BlackBerrys troubles stem from a huge incident that occurred in October 2011. For four days, BlackBerry users from around the world completely lost their messaging, browsing and email services. These three features are key to any business (or consumer) user, and proved to be a huge mark on RIM's record. RIM blamed the service troubles on an extremely critical network failure during a system upgrade

Since then, RIM co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis stepped down and named the new CEO Thorsten Heins. 

However, a new CEO hasn't completely wiped away RIM's problems. It's about to release a new mobile operating system, called BlackBerry 10 (BB10) in late January 2013, and with so many businesses and government agencies dropping the devices, analysts expect the new OS to be dead on arrival. 

Heins seems to believe differently. He was recently quoted saying, "
I think it's all lining up. Sometimes you get the feeling that the universe is in disarray, and with BlackBerry 10 coming, I see the stars lining up."

BB10's launch event
 will take place January 30, 2013. 

Source: USA Today

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RE: What?...
By drycrust3 on 11/22/2012 12:50:21 AM , Rating: 2
This wasn't even on the radar screen for everyone I knew that switched from Blackberry. They don't have a competitive device - plain and simple.

Not having ever owned a BB, my thinking is your are right. I think most people can accept a severe glitch or outage as long as it isn't a regular occurrence. Sure, there are people for whom the outage was the last straw, but in this case I don't think that was the primary reason, although it probably was a secondary consideration, because the NTSB have made the transition to Apple a year after the event.
From what is said in the article it appears reliability was an issue. I think one of the other factors prompting the move away from BB is the lack of an application library, and especially the ability to use "in house" apps.
I have heard that "in house" apps are a bit tricky on the iPhone, which, if true, is something Apple will need to sort out fairly soon (unless they want to be left behind) because this could really lock a company into an operating system (or encourage them to try a different one e.g. Android).

RE: What?...
By herrdoktor330 on 11/25/2012 10:43:22 AM , Rating: 2
I am (begrudgingly) a Blackberry user. I have a company provided phone with no choice of upgrades and no haggling on my part will allow for me to get an Android on the company plan. I've considered getting my own plan. But hey... free service is free service.

Anyway, my main grievance with BB is the lack of apps, notably free ones. When I had the first Google G1, I LOVED the fact there were tons of free apps and tons of handy pay apps. Blackberry's App World is a ghost town. And the apps that are there suck or don't work properly. I constantly have problems with Google Voice crashing, forcing a full phone reboot. This may be a "chicken or egg" conversation, but I think it would help immensely if RIM could encourage some strong app development on their platform.

The other issue on the table is that the hardware sucks. I have a 9930 and it's not bad. But the GPS works whenever it feels like. The lock button doesn't seem to be as functional as it could be. And I don't get why they can't make a better "Slider" model so the keypad (which I do prefer over touchscreen keyboards) doesn't get bumped around in my pocket. And while we're at it, the camera could be better. Oh yeah... and this is the current BB model and no 4G/LTE.

Just thought I'd contribute to the dialog since I have experience with these dang things. One side note though: a smart phone is a smart phone. For all of my general dislike of some aspects of my BB, it does do what it's made for. It plays videos, music, YouTube, accesses WiFi networks, texts, and makes and receives phone calls. In the grand scheme of things, the logo on the back of the phone is inconsequential assuming you have those basic things covered.

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