Irish government swapping BlackBerry for Apple iPhone and Android models

Irish government swapping BlackBerry for Apple iPhone and Android models
The Irish government is ending its support for the BlackBerry in a cost-saving measure, and is replacing them with the Apple iPhone and Android flavored handsets. The decision to toss the 'Berrys allows the lower House of the Oireachtas to stop paying for a BlackBerry Enterprise Server when no such server is used for Apple or Android smartphones. A spokesman for the House said, "The provision of support for BlackBerrys carries the additional cost of two separate servers, power, cooling, administration and annual support."
 
In another change, the House also scrapped plans to buy 300 Apple iPads at a cost of €150,000 ($197,000 USD) and €200,000 ($262,800 USD). Saying that it was too costly, the government got together with Vodafone to purchase the tablets at a wholesale price and will sell them to Senator's and Teachta Dála's in the House of the Oireachtas. The government wants the tablets to be able to "print on demand" parliamentary documents.

The move by the Irish government away from BlackBerry handsets follows similar moves made by governments in the U.S., U.K. and Uganda.

source: SiliconRepublic via TUAW

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21 Comments

1. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I just don't see why they would want an iPhone for government officials... It just seems like a fashion accessory. My girlfriend loves her iPhone 5, but it's UI is soooo basic. I can't stand it. I can't see it as a professional tool unless some fashion designer or something a long those lines has it. Also, the iPhone 5 is extremely expensive over the competition. If they break them, they will spend more money with just a couple replacements. I think the saving money part was just an excuse for their tax payers to pay for their flashy iPhones.

3. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

One driver for government users would probably be the security of the iPhone. The iP5 has arguably the strongest (AES256) security that doesn't require any user interaction (manual encryption/decryption). It happens in the background by the OS. I don't know what BB10 phones will offer as regards security, but if the security features are not the current state of the art, that is probably adding to the pressure to move off BB.

4. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I'm sure they can somehow secure their phones regardless of the make. This still doesn't change my opinion on the hardware =P

5. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I thought Motorola had secured their phones with government level encryption.

11. Lwazi_N

Posts: 205; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

Well, BB10 has just received FIPS certifications recently...

6. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

You seem to think that the iPhone 5 breaks easily when dropped. This is not android phone covered with plastic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M5q5TRuAsY How hard is it to crack the iPhone5?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMvE0lkunBg&feature=player_embedded

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Exactly

13. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

You do not get the point. A phone CAN break regardless of what it is. It's just going to be A LOT more to replace an iPhone 5 compared to any other piece of hardware.

15. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

you act like every android phone is the same, made out of the same materials

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Actually the iPhone would b ideal for govt. it's UI is intuitive, and straight forward. U can bash it all u want, but your opinion is just that...your opinion. I have an ip5, and its a great device, and yes the UI is a little boring, but the government isn't looking for specs and widgets... They look for straight forward performance. U don't like the iPhone...oh well. Lots of people do.

12. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

iPhone ui, albeit it's simple, is still very functional Look at bb ui, Way more boring than ios, you only got all favorites media downloads frequent and that's it Government officials can't work efficiently using bb, it's outdated and not capable of doing heavy task, can't even open phonearena site without any checkerboard or hourglass even with the flagship bold 9900

16. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"...can't even open phonearena site without any checkerboard or hourglass even with the flagship bold 9900" If the Bold 9900 is the metric for comparison, it is over before it has even started. The BB10 phones have to do waaaay better than the Bold 9900.

20. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

But the bb 10 devices haven't been released yet

21. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Quite true about the BB10 phones not having been released. I was responding to Nikolas' comment about the Bold 9900: "The BB10 phones have to do waaaay better than the Bold 9900."

2. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

More bad news for RIM.... That is what happens when you have stale technology. Speaking of stale, I wonder if Apple is paying attention?

14. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

^^^^ This

7. drnggaj33

Posts: 127; Member since: Feb 29, 2012

bye bye rim yup they are at the rim of loseing everything hello android oh yea apple w/e

8. rex1213

Posts: 77; Member since: Jul 29, 2011

I don't understand all these weird timing by various governments switching from Blackberry to Android and iOS devices. I call it weird because Blackberry 10 is coming. What if BB10 comes with better security features that are more suited for them? And if they mean they want to save costs and avoid the BB Enterprise Server access fee, why didn't they switch to Android and iOS much earlier? Am I missing something here?

17. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Most likely the timing of the switch is a function of budget cycles for the respective entity. Also, they tend to buy in bulk to maximize quantity discounting. A bulk purchase generally requires a separate budget request, and, and, and. Sales cycles for government procurements are on the order of 18+ months (more like 24 to 30 months for U.S. government agencies). The cycle can be shortened a little bit if year-end money is available, but everyone in the agency is fighting for the year-end funds.

18. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

"The Irish government is ending its support for the BlackBerry in a cost-saving measure, and is replacing them with the Apple iPhone and Android flavored handsets." hmmmm really.....whats "cost saving" about buying an apple product?

19. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"hmmmm really.....whats "cost saving" about buying an apple product?" Having to pay full freight to replace the Bold 9900 that a frustrated user bounced off the nearest cement block wall in frustration when the phone decided to do a full reboot in the middle of an emergency response call? I saw a similar situation. A friend was out of the office on a conference call discussing a $10 million contract add-on and their Bold 9930 went into a full reboot (~5 minutes where the phone is not usable at all). After they calmed down, I loaned them my GS III to complete the call. When the call was done, we went directly to the VZW store and they paid full freight for a GS III. If I had loaned them an iP5, they would have purchased the iP5. The Bold 9930 was that bad of an experience.

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