Another blunder for RIM as government agencies dump BlackBerries for iPhones

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry not that long ago was the dominant smartphone platform. Due to its incompetent management all too easily waving off the iPhone threat, which along with Android went on to slaughter the BlackBerry in the consumer space, RIM has now sought a retreat in big corporations and government agencies – its only remaining strongholds.

The problem is, the enterprise market is now dropping BlackBerries in droves and governments around the world are following suit. The latest example: both the U.S. Immigration and Customer Enforcement agency and government consultant Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. are dropping a total of nearly 50,000 BlackBerry handsets in favor of iPhones and devices powered by Google’s Android software…

Reuters reports that the U.S. Immigration and Customer Enforcement agency will not re-new its contract with RIM. Instead, its 17,600 employees are all getting iPhones and Androids in a deal worth an estimated $2.1 million:

The agency said it has relied on RIM for eight years but that RIM’s technology “can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency”.


It also said that it had analyzed Apple’s iOS-based devices and Google’s Android operating system and concluded that for the near term Apple’s iPhone services offer the best technology for the agency because of Apple’s tight controls of the hardware platform and operating system.

The iPhones will be used by, among other agencies, Homeland Security Investigations, Enforcement and Removal Operations and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor. It’s an important win for Apple, whose iPhone is already deployed by more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies and increasingly by governments the world over.

Government consultant Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. has dealt another fresh blow to RIM, per Bloomberg.

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., whose 25,000 staff provide consulting services to the U.S. government, has dropped BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. as a smartphone supplier.

Booz Allen has started decommissioning the firm’s dedicated BlackBerry server that runs those devices and plans to move those staff onto iPhones made by Apple Inc. and handsets that run Google Inc. Android software in the coming months, James Fisher, a Booz Allen spokesman, said by telephone.

And what of employees who now bring their own BlackBerry to work and won’t be issued an iPhone or an Android phone? Easy, those people “won’t be able to access work e-mail on the device once the switch is complete”.

It’s the BlackBerry stigma on the corporate level.

Headquartered in McLean Virginia, the company has consultancy contracts with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Department of Homeland Security. Its parent company Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. reported sales of $5.86 billion in 2011, most of which came from government consulting.

This has got to be RIM’s worst nightmare come true. When your most prized clients talk crap about your platform, you can tell the end is near. Of course, RIM has only itself to blame. Its BlackBerry 10 OS is way overdue and first devices running it have been pushed back until Q1 2013.

Consider this: RIM shares are down 95 percent from their mid-2008 high. Just this year, the shares have tumbled 45 percent.

Right now, RIM could be sold off in parts and likely below book value. I can see them licensing the BlackBerry business to a select few companies whilst selling off their BBM and server products to the highest bidder (Oracle or Microsoft).

And as much as I hate to say this, everything else RIM has is pretty much worthless.

What do you think, is RIM already done for?