The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency plans to end its eight-year relationship with the BlackBerry in favor of iPhones, according to solicitation documents posted Friday, a major blow to ailing BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.
ICE plans to purchase iPhones for more than 17,000 employees according to the notice, which states that RIM’s technology can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency.
The defection by a law enforcement agency is a particularly harsh blow for RIM, which has led the mobile market in security even as it has trailed Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system in functionality.
ICE has “evolving mobile law enforcement business requirements that require the use of more capable and dynamic mobile technology to support its mission and personnel,” according to the limited source justification.
“Analysis conducted by ICE has concluded that for the near term, Apple iPhone services offer the agency the best solution for its mobile technology,” the justification continued.
“Apple’s strict control of the hardware platform and operating system, independent of telecommunication vendor, provides ICE with the greatest degree of control and management to ensure the most reliable delivery of services to ICE’s mission users.”
Image courtesy of Flickr, Mr. T in DC
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This article originally published at Nextgov