US 'federal government 2.0' ditches BlackBerry, embraces Apple

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
A new story offers a look at how employees of the U.S. government are making major tech changes, trading BlackBerries for iPhones, and laptops for Apple's iPad.



The new devices are "invading" the federal government, according to a feature in The Washington Post. The story kicks off by painting the picture of a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tracking a "bad guy" with video surveillance via an iPad.



"This is not a movie. This is not a Steve Jobs dream," author Michael S. Rosenwald wrote. "This is the federal government 2.0, where technology upgrades no longer come at a 'Little House on the Prairie' pace. Even President Obama, a BlackBerry devotee, has upgraded. He now owns an iPad, and it has been seen on his desk and under his arm."



Shifting to consumer-oriented technology like Apple's products allows the government to have happier, more productive employees. And Apple isn't the only beneficiary of the changes: Some free services, like Google's Gmail, are being adopted to cut costs, as well as offer more flexibility.



ATF is said to have about 50 iPads or iPhones in use -- a number expected to increase to 100 "soon." And the U.S. State Department is testing the iPad, while Congress allows the use of iPads and iPhones on the house floor.



The Post also noted that the Department of Veteran Affairs will soon allow clinicians to choose an iPad or iPhone for work instead of a BlackBerry. The report characterized the adoption of Apple devices, as well as those running the Google Android operating system, as "trouble" for Research in Motion and its BlackBerry platform.



President Obama shown with an iPad 2. Photo via The White House.



BlackBerry devices have long been a mainstay of the U.S. government, largely because of the service's secure e-mail platform. But RIM fell behind in third-party software support, as the number of applications on Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market have continued to swell. The report also noted that RIM was "late to the booming tablet market" with the debut of its PlayBook in April to lukewarm reviews.



The story from Washington is yet another bit of bad news for RIM, as another high-profile national story this week from Reuters noted that some investors have called for a change in leadership at the Canadian smartphone maker. RIM has lost market share and fallen behind both Apple and Google, resulting in a sinking stock and pressure on co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.



As RIM struggles in government, Apple has found success across its product lineup, extending beyond both the iPhone and iPad. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Apple's sales of Mac computers to governments increased 155.6 percent in the March 2011 quarter. That well exceeded the PC market's 2.3 percent overall growth.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    nomadmacnomadmac Posts: 95member
    Walk into your local Apple store and ask to see FileMaker Go on an iPad and you won't find it.

    When i asked an Apple store employee about it, his response was "we only have Apple software for demonstration on the iPads".
  • Reply 2 of 56
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I can't help but feel bad for RiM.
  • Reply 3 of 56
    mynameisjoemynameisjoe Posts: 170member
    An iPad is perfect for someone like the President. The President's job is to make decisions, and in order to make good decisions you need to be well informed. The iPad is very good at putting all the information you need to know right at your finger tips.
  • Reply 4 of 56
    jj.yuanjj.yuan Posts: 212member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I can't help but feel bad for RiM.



    Blame their leadership (or the lack of). Granted it's not easy to compete with Apple. They didn't make concrete progress to match what Apple offers (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iTunes and App Stores) before it's too late.
  • Reply 5 of 56
    shippstershippster Posts: 16member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NomadMac View Post


    Walk into your local Apple store and ask to see FileMaker Go on an iPad and you won't find it.

    When i asked an Apple store employee about it, his response was "we only have Apple software for demonstration on the iPads".



    If your point is that Apple store employees don't know that Filemaker is an Apple subsidiary, that's fine. There are some who are out of touch with business, although they have business specialists who definitely know that. I just don't see why you think that is particularly relevant to this article. I don't think these people are getting their devices from the Apple Store in their local mall and having the Apple Store employees set them up.



    These agencies have folks in the departments that help them set up things to work with what they have on the backend.
  • Reply 6 of 56
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I can't help but feel bad for RiM.



    This is what happens when a company rests on its laurels. Apple is constantly pushing forward while Blackberry just sat there thinking their technology was superior.
  • Reply 7 of 56
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NomadMac View Post


    Walk into your local Apple store and ask to see FileMaker Go on an iPad and you won't find it.

    When i asked an Apple store employee about it, his response was "we only have Apple software for demonstration on the iPads".



    Okay... let me get this straight. You did a survey of 100 Apple stores...
  • Reply 8 of 56
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NomadMac View Post


    Walk into your local Apple store and ask to see FileMaker Go on an iPad and you won't find it.

    When i asked an Apple store employee about it, his response was "we only have Apple software for demonstration on the iPads".



    Although, my local store tells me that they have a set and locked image that goes on the iPads on display and they aren't allowed to download any other apps on those iPads. And according to the App Store entry version 1.2.1 was posted 4/20/2011 and has eight strongly positive reviews. Obviously the employee in question was incorrect, but what exactly was you point to this post anyway??
  • Reply 9 of 56
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mynameisjoe View Post


    An iPad is perfect for someone like the President.



    Wonder if the president's iPad is off-the-shelf, or if it's a skunkwork like his limo and aircraft.
  • Reply 10 of 56
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    Glad to see Apple is making in-roads... but security is still an issue.



    At our top 50 fortune 500 company, the iphone and ipad are in demonstration phase. They went to third party solutions for some items. However... at this time, it will NOT offer encrypted email services. For a company that deals with international employees and companies, that is a severe restriction. US Govt ITAR rules force all email that will be sent out of the country to be encrypted(well, the end result of interpretation of the rules)



    A poster on this or another forum made the suggestion to RIM... dump the hardware, offer your service on multiple platforms. Security is one of the major features of Booberry the corperation likes... not the handset(although there might be hardware security features I am not aware of, the other feature being notifications, that hopefully Apple will address in iOS5). Now these other companies are stepping in to offer somewhat equivelent services... but not quite there yet.
  • Reply 11 of 56
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,189member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I can't help but feel bad for RiM.



    Once iOS picked up Exchange Support, RIM lost the last thing they had that made them THE choice for business.



    And in a way it makes sense. Many of these folks are using ipads, iphones for personal stuff cause the husband/wife/kiddies want the ipad and iphone. They don't want to have to remember two systems so when they can they are switching. There's no reason not to.



    The only way RIM will stay in the game is to stop worrying about the general consumers and get back to being all about business. All kinds of businesses. Make a collection of devices that fill their needs with security, remote login to central systems and so on. It is it useful in the home as well, great. But keep the research, design and marketing on business types starting with small and medium corporate shops.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NomadMac View Post


    When i asked an Apple store employee about it, his response was "we only have Apple software for demonstration on the iPads".



    Nice try but I highly doubt that anyone said that to you. Because they have had 3rd party software on the ipads since day one of ipad 1.
  • Reply 12 of 56
    htoellehtoelle Posts: 89member
    The comment I am about to make will go over heads of those South of the our boarder here in Canada. However I can hear it now, said by some well meaning ignorant politician in Ottawa. "We cannot have our civil servants buying from a US company, we must have Canadian content. Therefore they must buy Blackberries " To which the average Joe Blow Canadian will say as he does about all the US Television content. "Up You Nose with a Rubber Hose" mind you it will be said politely.
  • Reply 13 of 56
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by htoelle View Post


    The comment I am about to make will go over heads of those South of the our boarder here in Canada. However I can hear it now, said by some well meaning ignorant politician in Ottawa. "We cannot have our civil servants buying from a US company, we must have Canadian content. Therefore they must buy Blackberries " To which the average Joe Blow Canadian will say as he does about all the US Television content. "Up You Nose with a Rubber Hose" mind you it will be said politely.



    Oh... I thought the average Joe Blow Canadian would just say, "Whatever, man, pass the popcorn...".
  • Reply 14 of 56
    visualzonevisualzone Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    Oh... I thought the average Joe Blow Canadian would just say, "Whatever, man, pass the popcorn...".



    Actually we'd say, " don't be a hoser eh and pass me another Molson's."
  • Reply 15 of 56
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post


    Blame their leadership (or the lack of). Granted it's not easy to compete with Apple. They didn't make concrete progress to match what Apple offers (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iTunes and App Stores) before it's too late.



    Best thing that could happen to RIM would be for it to reach the brink of collapse. (See Apple, history of) Either it returns with a new focus or its best people go elsewhere to contribute elsewhere.
  • Reply 16 of 56
    granmastakgranmastak Posts: 298member
    Many of the federal agencies have tons of field work that requires the kind of work the iPad was designed for, form filling, looking up info, data updates. I use my iPad throughout the day and take it everywhere I go, I can imagine its a great tool for the Feds too.



    This is a slap in the face for all those geniuses who said the iPad is an oversized iPod. Pretty soon expect to see iPads in ambulances, ups, fedex and the like. Alaska air already put the pilot manuals on iPads.
  • Reply 17 of 56
    Tech is a brutal business...one can't afford to sit on their laurels as it were. It has to be in your DNA to be constantly improving. Like Apple!
  • Reply 18 of 56
    nkalunkalu Posts: 315member
    They finally did it. I feel bad for Blackberry makers while I am happy for Apple.
  • Reply 19 of 56
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shippster View Post


    If your point is that Apple store employees don't know that Filemaker is an Apple subsidiary, that's fine. There are some who are out of touch with business, although they have business specialists who definitely know that. I just don't see why you think that is particularly relevant to this article. I don't think these people are getting their devices from the Apple Store in their local mall and having the Apple Store employees set them up.



    These agencies have folks in the departments that help them set up things to work with what they have on the backend.



    i use filemaker pro for over 20 yrs . fantastic software . Almost completely ignored by apple in every way.

    i would love FMP help at a mac store ,. It ask would have a Halo effect too. ..maybe ,



    i would also love for the USA gov't to buy

    2 million ipads and

    6 million MBP 13 IN AND

    2 million MBA

    and every person in the govt' and every service person in the armed forces should also get an iphone 5





    And then for the first time ever we would have multiple products that actually work in the USA Govt work force.



    And as a aapl holder every sale helps





    9
  • Reply 20 of 56
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    Glad to see Apple is making in-roads... but security is still an issue.



    Won't it always be?... Both for our beloved OS, as well as, our beloved county.

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