The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will likely be the next government agency to abandon RIM's BlackBerry platform. The agency wants to replace its aging BlackBerry smartphones with iPhones.
Computerworld's John Ribeiro reported, "The National Transportation Safety Board in the U.S. plans to drop the BlackBerry smartphone from Research In Motion for Apple's iPhone, citing performance issues. The iPhone 5 smartphone will replace the NTSB's existing BlackBerry devices, which 'have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate.' NTSB said in a justification of the intended purchase on the Federal Business Opportunities website, which requests bids for U.S. federal government work."
Bloomberg's Nick Taborek and Hugo Miller added, "The 400-employee agency 'requires effective, reliable and stable communication capabilities to carry out its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations,' it wrote."
The Wall Street Journal's Will Connors observed, "The NTSB is the latest in a series of big corporate and government clients to turn elsewhere for their smart phone needs. Last month, the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement agency said it would start supplying iPhones to its employees instead of BlackBerrys. Earlier this year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made a similar announcement."
In an interview earlier this week, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins told Wired's Roberto Baldwin that the company had delayed the release of its new BlackBerry 10 operating system because "We needed to get our act together and get it right." Heins added, "We see the hard work and the changes bearing fruit."