National Transportation safety Board is the latest in the list of U.S. Government agencies which plans to switch from Blackberry Smartphones to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5. The Blackberrys have been “failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate,” according to the NTSB’s notice.
The 400-employee agency “requires effective, reliable, and stable communication capabilities to carry out its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations,” it wrote. Blackberry devices lag behind Android and iPhone in touch screen, email, and message services, these being the main reason why Government agencies switched their choices towards Apple iPhone5.
Other government agencies, which shifted from Blackberry, are the Defense Department in October, Immigration and Custom Enforcement in September, and the Transportation Security Administration in May, all echoing more or less, the same issues of the devices being less user friendly and lagging behind in technology.
“Once customers start coming out in the open and saying they’re dissatisfied with the product, it’s very, very difficult” to gain traction with new customers”, said an analyst at Northern Securities in Toronto. “It’s very difficult for your brand to be relevant when you’re losing your base itself.”
However, Paul Lucier, the company’s vice president, claims that the government agencies have trusted and relied on Blackberry services for over a decade. “BlackBerry remains the most reliable, secure, and robust end-to-end mobile communications platform available,” Lucier says. “We have 1 million government customers in North America alone who depend on BlackBerry, and more than 400,000 government customers worldwide upgraded their devices in the past year”.
Facing intense competition from iOS and Android, Blackberry would bring in the new smartphone based on a new operating system, Blackberry 10, early next year. Currently many of the Blackberry smartphones sit on Blackberry 5 and 6 and not on the latest Blackberry 7. The Company stated that it would make efforts to bring back the Government Agencies by upgrading to Blackberry 10. The new operating system would be the key for Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)’s comeback attempt, following years of market-share losses to Apple’s iPhone and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android based smartphones and devices. The new Blackberry 10 would come under new management as the company lays off 5,000 employees to save $1 billion in costs.
Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM) “has been dedicated to providing government with secure, reliable mobile communications for more than a decade,” the company said in an e-mail. “We will soon be launching the new BlackBerry 10 platform globally to meet our customer’s needs in the decade ahead”.