Research shows U.S. feds making tectonic shift from antiquated BlackBerry to Apple iPhone, iPad

“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.]

Related articles:
Beleaguered RIM guarantees BlackBerry 10 developers $10K per app; Jefferies says sell – May 2, 2012
Beleaguered RIM shares tank further as CEO hit with tepid response to Blackberry 10 – May 1, 2012
Apple takes lion’s share of mobile profits; Samsung unit sales estimates cloud market share picture – May 1, 2012
Beleaguered RIM confirms responsibility for ‘Wake Up’ mock protest at Apple Store Sydney – May 1, 2012
Beleaguered RIM said to discuss hiring bank to weigh strategy options – April 16, 2012


      1. In the essence, though, our Lord is right: it is strange that such poorly standardised thing as Android made such inroads to governmental IT. There is not that much rational reason for that.

        1. The reason I think is because custom versions of android made for the government are appearing.

          I was at a demo of a secure phone recently that was flat out amazing. Dual SIM cards with a Linux hypervisor running a fully sandboxed secure version of android. You could make calls and use it as a personal phone, then hit a button and you were in a secure mode with fully encrypted voice and data.

          Unless Apple specifically goes after government sales its going to be hard to eliminate android in government with stuff like this being developed.

          Not that Android has to lose for Apple to win. Apple is doing fantastic even with Android on the market.

      2. you have to get current; I am a part time teacher, and those “big boy” words have hit the 1st and 2nd grade. Taught to them by their parents, who when you ask them about it, have no problem with it.
        Wow,time to get out.

          1. Somehow you misunderstand my comments. It’s anything but appropriate, but it IS taught to them by many of the current generation of younger parents who use it every day themselves and see no problem with it, even on their jobs. When a teacher challenges them, they think we are crazy and will fight us if we attempt to do anything. Does that clear it up for you?

  1. Can’t use a Driod. Of course referring to an Android phone because of their security concerns?

    ‘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.’”

  2. I would like to think that the feds moved to the iPhone because they had become techno-savvy.

    But I can just see them going all gaga over some other phone out of ignorance because a ‘trusted’ IT tard told them to, i.e. the next generation of Windows phones.

  3. How the heck can anyone trust a Google OS w/ security? No data is safe w/ them or their devices. The govt should think long & hard about allowing their data (via droid devices) to traverse the Google ecosystem. If you thought wikileaks was bad, imagine what the Googs kooks could do..

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.