According to Bloomberg, another US government agency is ditching RIM’s BlackBerry in favour of the iPhone 5 instead (last month, U.S. Customs said they were abandoning BlackBerrys for 18,000 iPhones instead):
The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates plane accidents, disclosed its plan to switch to Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone 5 in a document posted last week to a federal website. The BlackBerrys have been “failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate,” according to the NTSB’s notice.
The NTSB has 400 employees and noted it “requires effective, reliable and stable communication capabilities to carry out its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations,” which it felt the BlackBerry did not offer. NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss did not elaborate to Bloomberg the specific problems they were facing or what generation BlackBerrys they were using.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins noted last week he expects 400,000 BlackBerry 10 smartphone upgrades by government customers in North America, which also include the Canadian government. Heins noted current government customers are just not getting the current BlackBerry experience (maybe because RIM hasn’t released a compelling smartphone yet?):
“Many of these devices sit on BlackBerry 5 or BlackBerry 6, not even on BlackBerry 7, so the experience is not what I know and what other BlackBerry users know in the consumer domain,” he said. “It is a three-, four-year-old experience.”
BlackBerry 10 is scheduled to launch at the end of January, 2013. Here’s how the iPhone 5 looks compared to the latest Blackberry 10 ‘L’ series. RIM is facing an uphill battle–we do wish them the best. However, they need to stop talking and just release a damn product that works.