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?