A number of corporate and government organizations are moving away from the BlackBerry in favor of the iPhone and iPad – Halliburton and the NOAA are recent examples. The U.S. department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is the latest to join the movement.
“We’re going to delete the BlackBerry from the mix,” Rick Holgate, ATF’s chief information officer, said in an interview. “The government has been very comfortable with the BlackBerry model for 10 years,” he said. “Now we’re looking to move beyond that.”
Functionality, however, was the main decision behind the shift to the iPhone, he said. “Video streaming, GPS capability, capabilities, the camera … a variety of things,” Holgate said. “Yes, these things exist on BlackBerrys, but in terms of ease of use and adaptability of the devices, the iPhones are the more functional and compelling use case.”
The change is expected to take place next month, and will involve the replacement of a massive 2,400 BlackBerry devices with iPhones, which will be assigned to agents who work in the field. The agency is also investigating a pilot program involving the adoption of 200 iPads.