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Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) commissioned a study from Strategy Analytics – a research firm that specializes in wireless devices, consumer electronics, telecommunications, and defense systems — to investigate how expensive it is to securely manage different wireless devices. A press release detailed the results, stating that the study found it 39 percent more expensive to securely manage non-Blackberry devices using a “Walled Garden” approach.
“As the only mobile solution to be approved by the U.K. government to protect material classified up to and including ‘Restricted’, the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution continues to set the standard for mobile security. This research study also further underlines that at a time when all types of organisations are looking to drive efficiencies, the BlackBerry solution remains the most cost-effective enterprise mobility option,” said senior VP of BlackBerry Security Group Scott Totzke.
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Either the boys at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement didn’t get — or didn’t agree with — the news. According to IDG News, over 17,600 agency employees are being shifted from BlackBerry devices to the iPhone.
In the justification for the switch — the contract was recently made public — BlackBerry gets a fond farewell. “ICE has relied upon the company, Research in Motion (RIM), as its technology provider for smartphone technology for over eight years. Specifically, ICE has relied on RIM’s technology as the standard for handheld devices…. This standardization has allowed ICE to efficiently maintain operational capabilities, train end users, and manage security.”
“The RIM technology, however, can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency. ICE also has evolving mobile law enforcement business requirements that require the use of more capable and dynamic mobile technology to support its mission and personnel.”
Looks like this one goes to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform was evaluated as well, but did not make the cut for a variety of reasons — open source security, anyone?
The crux of the argument lays in Apple’s iron grip over its technology, something that is often criticized in other circles. “Apple’s strict control of the hardware platform and operating system, independent of telecommunication vendor, provides ICE with the greatest degree of control and management to ensure the most reliable delivery of services to ICE’s mission users,” reads the justification.
Whether the ICE is legitimately picking the best product, or if there is a Mac Cultist in the ranks, remains to be seen. However, the move could establish precedent for other agencies to make the switch.
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