NTSB provided some not-so-pleasant rationale behind the move by saying Research In Motion “have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate.”
NTSB spokesperson Eric Weiss said the agency cannot provide any specific problems due to procurement rules, but it is known that RIM had encountered some high-profile service failures, including a global 3-day outage last year.
The agency wrote: “The NTSB requires effective, reliable and stable communication capabilities to carry-out its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations. Due to performance issues with the blackberry [sic] devices, the NTSB desires to transition to a different device.”
RIM did not comment on NTSB statement.
“We have 1 million government customers in North America alone who depend on BlackBerry, and more than 400,000 government customers worldwide upgraded their devices in the past year,” an official statement from RIM said. “We are committed to the mobility needs of government agencies around the world and will continue to meet these needs with BlackBerry 10.”
RIM is set to release the new BlackBerry 10 devices early next year but the NTSB is not waiting for them anymore. The agency has decided to use Apple’s iPhone 5 on Verizon network. NTSB says that the iPhone 5 is the only choice now that’s available in existing wireless vendor and is “currently supportable by existing staff resources.”
While the agency will hardly make a dent in the overall sales of BlackBerry 10 next year, as it only has 400 staff members, NTSB is just but one of the many government agencies that are moving away from RIM’s services. BlackBerrys once dominated the corporate world with their high-end, high security offerings.
The United States Immigration and Customers Enforcement recently switched to Apple after declaring RIM’s mobile technology “can no longer meet” its needs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives already moved to Apple Inc earlier in the year.
The biggest government agency that expressed its discontent with RIM’s BlackBerrys so far is the United States Department of Defense. The procurement order it posted last month logged a minimum of 162,500 Android and Apple units. The department hopes to add the new devices to its existing network of devices.