The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has become the most recent organization to abandon Research In Motion’s BlackBerry platform in favor of Apple’s iPhone. According to a recent interview, the agency is planning to “delete the BlackBerry from the mix” of devices they officially support.
According to the interview, which was published in Politico, the replacement of the agency’s 3,800 BlackBerry devices should be complete within the year. About 60% of the BlackBerry devices will be replaced with iPhones. The transition is apparently set to begin this month.
To say that things have not been going well for BlackBerry platform lately would be a bit of an understatement. Despite the generally well-received recent update to their PlayBook operating system, and the largely positive buzz about the forthcoming BlackBerry OS 10, they continue to suffer significant losses in market share to the Android and iOS platforms in both the consumer and business markets. At the same time, recent research has shown that over a quarter of corporate IT professionals are making plans to replace their organizations’ BlackBerry devices, while another study showed that Apple’s iOS platform was seen as superior to both BlackBerry and Android by nearly a third of IT professionals.
Nor is the ATF the first organization to make news by abandoning RIM’s troubled ship. At the beginning of February there were reports that Halliburton was making plans to replace its BlackBerry devices with iOS devices. Just a few days later, an internal memo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revealed plans to replace its BlackBerrys with iPhones and iPads.
What do you think? Is BlackBerry on the way out? Does your business still use BlackBerry devices? Let us know in the comments.