US Government Drops BlackBerry to Adopt iOS Devices

By , May 31, 2011

United States federal agencies are ditching BlackBerry devices in favor of those powered by iOS, according to a new feature in the Washington Post. Dubbed ‘federal government 2.0′, the change will see the U.S. government upgraded and the introduction of consumer technologies like the iPhone, iPad, and Google’s Gmail service.

The demand for these technologies has not only come from agency directors and senior officials – who want to use iPads, Android phones and web-based email at the office like they do at home – but also from frontline workers who believe consumer technologies can set them free of the office for mobile working arrangements…

Michael S. Rosenwald of The Washington Post writes:

This is not a movie. This is not a Steve Jobs dream. This is the federal government 2.0, where technology upgrades no longer come at a “Little House on the Prairie” pace. Even President Obama, a BlackBerry devotee, has upgraded. He now owns an iPad, and it has been seen on his desk and under his arm.

The flashy consumer products that have been adopted in the corporate workforce — upending BlackBerrys for iPhones, Microsoft Outlook for Gmail, and lately laptops for iPads — are now invading the federal government. The State Department. The Army. The Department of Veterans Affairs. NASA. The General Services Administration is in the process of moving 17,000 employees onto Gmail.

Of course, happy workers are more productive workers, and with free services like Gmail moving in to replace those that currently exist, there is also money to be saved.

With about around 50 iPads and iPhone already in use – expected to rise to 100 soon – the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions can now watch the “bad guys” with video surveillance equipment and an iOS device.

And there are others area of the government where iOS devices are already in use: the U.S. State Department is testing the iPad, while Congress allows iPads and iPhone to be used on the house floor, and the Department of Veteran Affairs will soon provide clinicians with a choice of an iPad or iPhone instead of the BlackBerry.

With corporate workforces and now the federal government scrambling to adopt Apple devices, this can only be bad news for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion. AppleInsider notes that BlackBerry devices have long been a cornerstone for the U.S. government, but RIM continues to fall behind with support for third-party software whereas rivals such as Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market have been rapidly increasing.

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  • Dae

    We all knew this was gonna happen

  • fojam

    im gonna laugh if they turn out to jailbreak them…

    • LT916

      Of course they will jailbreak! It’s not illegal to do it

  • soccerkrzy

    Amazed they’re moving this route. Blackberries and RIM are far more secure than iOS devices right now. Unless if Apple is going to give them a customized iOS that adds security features required by the government and those who handle classified documents, I’m not sure this will be that great.

    Yea, gmail is nice, but it’s no where near the feature set one can do with the Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.

    • http://technocliq.com Chris

      You do realize Apple offers enterprise packages, which allows Corporations or large entities like the Government to further lock down the devices and to allow side loading of enterprise specific applications. DirecTV was here a month ago they have a bunch of Applications for iPad and iPhone for techs to use. It is also secure.

      • TheStranger

        Exactly. Apple doesnt market anything they cant go back and improve on. Theres good money in those Enterprise packages. the Presidential Blackberry had a custom OS too

      • Me

        @Chris and you do realise right now I can pick up any device except the iPad 2, even unjailbroken devices, and read absolutely everything off the device; passwords, websites visited, contact lists, text messages – and without leaving a trace on the device I did it? That includes things like an unjailbroken iPhone 4, regardless of any enterprise tools and on-device encryption that are configured on the device?

    • http://technocliq.com Chris

      Damn can edit but There is also iWork for iOS and other office like Applications. Plus they can even develop their own. Apple has continues to make major strides in enterprise behind the scenes

    • Josh

      That is a myth dude. Its like saying windows is more secure than mac os x because the i os is os x. Look it up.

    • r0cket

      Blackberries are no more secure than iOS. The only reason everybody says that BB’s are secure is because hackers aren’t focusing on BB OS, they’re focused on iOS, which is widely used more than BB.

      Same goes to Mac. Mac’s arent more secure. They only claim to be ‘virus free’ only because hackers rather write viruses for more widely use OS like Windows.

      I bet if the jailbreak dev’s turned to BB, they would crack/hack it in less than a day.

    • TheStranger

      iOS is more secure if you hack it and change some things. Inject a few security programs and disable some things better left unsaid.. wouldnt want all you guys to fear your iDevice. I have a custom iOS I made myself reverse engineering the standard 4.3.3 and adding some things i wanted while taking out restrictions and such

    • Chan

      Who say so

    • Chan

      ” Blackberries and RIM are far more secure than iOS devices right now” Says who? RIM?

  • Kylerayk

    Hmmm. Google’s been in bed with the current administration for a while now. It was only a matter of time till the payoff came.

  • http://www.iphonedownloadblog.com Alex

    I wonder if Obama jailbreaks…

    • http://www.iphonedownloadblog.com Sebastien

      Obama can’t jailbreak his iPad 2 yet, just like the rest of us ;)

      • http://iphonedownloadblog.com Killian

        I bet he can. And I bet he made Steve do it for him.

  • Macyourdaddy

    I bet Steve facetimes Obama for conference calls lol

  • Daviid

    Apple should creat apps for the military. That old shit (current crap). Breaks very often and numerous times. We need better GPS equiptment, radios, antennas lol no pun intended there, with clean display of it all. Help us apple!
    Long live the infantry!

  • Iconic

    RIP RIM…you were the best a few years back but you all sat on your ass for too long…THIS is truely a dagger to you…

    BTW…BBOS is not the security leader anymore and got owned at that hacker competition a couple months back…

    Lots of people at RIM should lose their job for just sucking for the last three years…big fail JVM

  • icyhotonmynuts

    Now.. it’s only a matter of time until Android takes over..muahahaha