It has been reported by Reuters that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is switching from Blackberry to iPhone as the “standard-issue” handset for its employees. So far, about 17600 employees are scheduled to get an iPhone, a contract estimated at $2.1M according to the report (that’s a bizarre $119 per phone. Group discount maybe?).

RIM “can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency”, says the federal agency. “The iPhone services will allow these individuals to leverage reliable, mobile technology on a secure and manageable platform in furtherance of the agency’s mission,” it adds.

RIM says that it still has 1M government customers in north America, but this switch demonstrates how urgent it is for RIM to come up with a new platform. Blackberry 10 (BB10) is not scheduled to hit the market before early 2013, and even after it arrives, this will be a difficult road for RIM.

We wonder if the US Immigration has evaluated Android, and if yes, what their conclusion was on that operating system. What do you think of this move? Are you surprised?

Filed in Apple >Cellphones . Tags: business and government.
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