US Customs Abandons BlackBerry, Will Purchase 18,000 iPhones Instead


Reuters reports RIM has been dealt another blow as the US Customs and Immigration (ICE) has announced it will switch from the BlackBerry to the iPhone, with almost 18,000 iPhones purchased, at a contract price of $2.1 million:

The agency said in a solicitation document posted last week that it intends to buy iPhones for more than 17,600 employees – a purchase worth $2.1 million.

The agency said it has relied on RIM for eight years but that RIM’s technology “can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency”.

As to why US ICE decided to choose the iPhone over the BlackBerry? Their document explains:

“The iPhone services will allow these individuals to leverage reliable, mobile technology on a secure and manageable platform in furtherance of the agency’s mission,”

It was just yesterday we told you RIM was set to exclusively preview its upcoming lineup of BlackBerry 10 models to Members of Parliament to drum up buzz for its new smartphones. RIM has struggled to release any new and innovative smartphones on time, unlike its Android competitors from Samsung and Apple’s iPhone. BlackBerry 10 is set to debut sometime in the first quarter of 2013.

Do you think RIM will make a comeback next year?


  • guest

    2.1M/18K = $116…something doesn’t add up here…

  • I guess that when you buy 18,000 iPhones you get some kind of “Thank you for your business!” rebate…

  • It could be all $99 iPhone 4S units on two year contracts…

  • einsteinbqat

    Of course there is a chance for RIM. Just a very slim one!

  • kmlmzhr

    they bought them at cost price perhaps?

  • guest

    well the phones are ‘contracted’ so for $116 an iPhone, might have a contract for 2+ years which is about right.

  • Farids

    Government? $116 per phone? Maybe $116000 not 116!!! With government everything costs at least ten times the retail price.

  • If it’s non contract then its a great deal, you would hope that when you buy that many you at least get a discount. Government discounts are often 10% plus there is usually a discount on top of that for bulk orders. So this maybe for iPhone 5 on contract, with no tax, remember there is no state tax if its a government purchase. And no, RIM is gone.

  • George

    But bb10 is right around the corner……