ICE Says It Will Test BlackBerry 10 Smartphones
December 14, 2012 9:28 AM
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RIM gets a second chance
Many enterprise and federal customers have been abandoning RIM’s BlackBerry platform. One of the last federal agencies to drop the BlackBerry smartphone in favor the iPhone was the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. However, it looks like RIM might get a second chance with ICE.
ICE is set to begin a pilot program early next year to test the new line of
BlackBerry 10 smartphones
. The pilot program will also involve testing of BlackBerry software to manage the smartphones on the ICE network.
"Given the nature of a rapidly evolving marketplace for mobile computing and the rising expectations of our users ... the pilot with RIM is a prudent technology management practice," said Barbara Gonzalez, the agency's press secretary.
BlackBerry L-Series smartphone [Image Source: TINHTE.VN]
Just the thought of being able to get back into the federal agency was enough to help send shares of RIM up over 6% Thursday morning. BlackBerry 10 is set to launch on January 30 and the new devices are crucial to RIM remaining viable in the marketplace.
BlackBerry smartphones have been continually losing out to the iPhone and Android devices at many federal agencies. Some of the reason BlackBerry devices have fallen out of favor have to do with expensive software required to manage the devices.
"Our priority is to ensure that ICE and all government agencies understand the full capabilities of the new BlackBerry 10 platform and how it can help them meet their mobility needs today and in the future," said Scott Totzke, RIM's senior vice president of BlackBerry Security.
When ICE announced its plans to
stop using BlackBerry devices
in October, it stated that BlackBerry smartphones "no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency." ICE had planned to buy iPhones for its approximately 17,600 employees.
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RE: BB Phone
12/16/2012 9:10:54 AM
And the actual release from RIM on the ICE pilot program:
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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