Another federal agency ditching BlackBerry

Is Uncle Sam ditching the BlackBerry altogether? Yet another agency is permanently powering down on the once-dominant smartphone, according to Politico.

Politico reports that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives is dropping Research in Motion’s BlackBerry in favor of, you guessed it, Apple’s iPhone. The news site cited ATF’s chief information officer, Rick Holgate, who said the agency is going to “delete the BlackBerry from the mix.”

The move affects about 3,900 BlackBerrys in use by the ATF and the phase-out should take a year. There is another report that the agency responsible for tracking hurricanes, tornados and other weather phenomena, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is also phasing out its 3,000 BlackBerrys for the iPhone.

As the iPhone has gained market share, RIM’s BlackBerry has been plagued with problems in the past year.

Holgate said the iPhone was better when it came to “ease of use and adaptability” in video streaming, GPS capability and “a variety of things.”

Apple led in smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2011, and gained a 23.8 percent market share, according to researchers at Gartner, which expects Apple’s momentum to continue in the first quarter of this year. RIM dropped to the No. 7 spot, said Gartner, which added, “RIM’s delay with its BlackBerry 10 platform will further impair its ability to retain users.”

A BlackBerry spokeswoman told Politico that RIM “continues to work closely with its more than 1 million government customers in North America who rely on the unmatched security of the BlackBerry platform.”

15 comments Add your comment

Bender vaalardin

February 28th, 2012
12:07 pm

sincerely sory for you customers of the iPhones but you are losers,hullooooooooooooooooo’!!!!!!!!!!


February 28th, 2012
1:21 pm

Considering that the iPhone doesn’t have nearly the security of the Blackberry on the server backend I’d say the ATF is making a consumer decision, not a business decision. Better video…yeesh.


February 28th, 2012
4:58 pm

Big Mistake from Security stand point but Im sure there will be lots of games for our AFT agents to play with. Good thing security isn’t an issue for them.


February 28th, 2012
5:02 pm

Great to see the government not feeding the Blackberry tax. Why should they buy data service, buy the email service, buy a BES server, and then say they are saving money? Yes the iPhone is less secure, but the incredible cost is just not justified. RIM needs to ax the Blackberry tax if they want to stay in business. Secure email cannot be the only selling point for buying an architecture.

Iphone 4S!

February 28th, 2012
5:10 pm

Go with the iphone—much better than anything else on the market. Apple rules!!!


February 28th, 2012
6:57 pm

yep, call us isheep all you want, fact of the matter is Blackberry once owned the market… keyword in ONCE those devices are done


February 28th, 2012
6:58 pm

good, blackberry’s are terribly outdated


February 28th, 2012
7:09 pm

I bet they never ask the people that actually use the blackberry which they prefer! I had a blackberry and went in to get a new one. The store only had IPhones and droids. The clerk sold me on those. I tried to use it for a month and took it back. Nothing is better than a Blackberry for business. I hope blackberry continues to make phones.

Tony L.

February 28th, 2012
7:16 pm

I love my Torch! As a business phone it is unmatched. There are very few things I found it can’t do. Never drops a call. Conference calls are great. Email and social apps work seamlessly… I’m not sure what everyone is looking for? More apps? Not enough time in the day at least if you have a life. It fits my lifestyle perfectly.


February 28th, 2012
7:52 pm

ALL mobile devices – including PDAs like BB or iPhones – are REQUIRED by Federal LAW to be encrypted to the FIPS 140-2 standard. As cool as the iPhone is (& we have 3 in our family) they do not meet this standard. Not sure how these Federal agencies are getting away with this clear violation but they are going to get bitten hard the first time one of their employees loses an iPhone with government data on it. Oh well…


February 28th, 2012
9:34 pm

Do you people not understand the way things work in America now? It’s not about performance, it’s about appearance. You don’t have to have all that encryption and security stuff as long as you appear to be hip and trendy.

So you can have the ATFE carry devices that aren’t secure, but then have Obama say something like “we are equipping our federal law enforcement agencies with the green tools necessary to fight man-caused disasters all over the globe” (their phraseology for terrorism).

And the libs will smile and FEEL good while the conservatives will grimace once again knowing that they are stuck with the bill for the new green devices. Cough.

RGB Hater

February 28th, 2012
9:44 pm

RGB, please STFU!


February 29th, 2012
4:19 am

First, if the U.S. government is spending too much money folks get upset. The minute they cut out an unnecessary expense, folks scream security. Really. You don’t buy a car because it has the best security system in the world. You just don’t. RIM fell asleep at the wheel. They sold a product and touted it has the best email security. Now they are coming out with a phone with the ability to do multi-tasking. But no one is asking for that feature. Much like the security feature, they are placing their company on a feature that no one has asked for and, sadly, is not a new feature. Does RIM think multi-tasking is something new? There are phones being released with 4 processors. (actually 5) Does RIM think multi-tasking won’t be coming to phones soon? Phones are becoming as powerful as a small laptop. RIM needs to think out of the box. Putting Activesync on the Playbook? Really, if anyone argues security, why didn’t their tablets have the same email security. RIM can’t stop tripping over themselves.

Govt spending

February 29th, 2012
10:54 am

the government needs to change all employees to the iphone—much better than the blackberry and droid junk. Iphones rule!!


February 29th, 2012
7:09 pm

At least the iPhone is at least made by an American company. RIM is not American and doesn’t deserve American tax dollars (and that’s doll-ars, not Dole-ars). Can’t change that both devices are made in China, but we can choose to support American companies instead of foreign entities like RIM.
We really need to stop buying Canadian-made police cars and Mexican-made pickup trucks, too. You want American jobs? Buy American, not just by brand but where the item is made.