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February 15, 2012

US government agency seeks alternatives to BlackBerry

General Services Administration (GSA) is looking at iPhones and Android-based devices

By CBR Staff Writer

Research In Motion received yet another jolt as US federal government’s main procurement agency, General Services Administration (GSA), announced plans to issue iPhones and Android-based tablets to some of its 17,000 employees in place of BlackBerrys.

Last week, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA) said it would supply employees with Apple’s iPhones and do away with BlackBerrys by May.

GSA, however, is not planning on abandoning the BlackBerrys altogether.

GSA’s chief information officer Casey Coleman, speaking to Reuters, said they actively seek to be progressive in their adoption of new technologies so that GSA can learn the lessons which will inform our client and customer agencies as they seek to go down a similar path.

Coleman added that BlackBerry is still the most used smartphone at GSA, as devices running on Android and iPhones account for less than 5% at the agency.

But, it still is a setback for RIM, as BlackBerry was the automatic choice of all the US federal agencies for secure mobile communication at one point of time.

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