“iPhone touch-screens are commandeering BlackBerry thumbs across government, according to new studies,” Aliya Sternstein reports for Nextgov.

“The Government Business Council, Government Executive’s research arm, identified huge shifts in BlackBerry use among federal managers between August 2009 and September 2011,” Sternstein reports. “Most managers were “crackberry” addicts in August 2009—77 percent—and now less than half are Berry users. At the same time, iPhone use has nearly tripled, reaching 23 percent. The iPad also is stealing federal customers from BlackBerry, claiming 17 percent of the market, and smartphones powered by Google’s Android operating system are hovering at 25 percent.”

Sternstein reports, “The CIO shop at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants to satisfy those employees who favor iPhones and Android devices over BlackBerrys, made by Ottawa-based Research in Motion. When its RIM licenses expire this summer, the agency’s roughly 2,000 BlackBerry users will get new phones, NOAA officials say. Stefan Leeb, the NOAA program manager involved with the changeover, says his agency needs to be able to recruit talent that is more comfortable with the newer devices. ‘We don’t want to be stuck with BlackBerrys,’ he says… NOAA wants to foster a platform-agnostic workforce that is not beholden to any specific brand or device. The first step, Leeb says, is assigning iPhones and iPads, because they are the easiest commercial devices to manage within the agency’s existing computing environment. Meanwhile, NOAA is testing Android products to make sure they comply with agency security requirements.”

Sternstein reports, “The decline of the BlackBerry in government tracks with national trends. Data from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project shows a 4 percent drop in Berry users between May 2011 and February 2012, and a 9 percent rise in iPhone users during that period… Some federal information technology personnel, however, moan about agencies allowing employees to work on personal phones, a practice called BYOD, or bring your own device. The concern is colleagues could inadvertently compromise agency networks with infected apps downloaded for fun and entertainment. ‘It’s difficult to prevent people from loading applications or jail-breaking their phones, and that complication is largely solved in the BlackBerry,’ says Tom Hallewell, president of the Information Systems Security Association’s Washington chapter, whose members are mainly feds and contractors. ‘Everyone is clear that you can’t load apps on your government laptop… you can’t smoke cigarettes at work, and you have to take a drug test and you can’t use a Droid.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: More good news for DCW.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "iOSam" for the heads up.]

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