updated 09:40 pm EST, Wed February 6, 2013
New BlackBerry 10 platformed deemed insufficient for department
Adding to the ongoing litany of BlackBerry woes, the Australian Department of Treasury is shifting its mobile technology off the platform in favor of the iPhone 5, according to chief information officer Peter Alexander. Control and monitoring of the 250 devices in the fleet will be managed by the AirWatch mobile device management system, and the rollout will be complete by the end of March.
The move by the IT department of the Australian treasury comes a week after the unveil and governmental approval of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. "BlackBerry has pretty limited capability," he said. "With the new one being launched, it's almost too late. Maybe it'll catch up, maybe it won't."
"In the coldest and cruelest way to look at it, there was no decision for us, really. We looked at it in terms of usability and functionality, Android phones are perfectly adequate ... but it was really a decision we didn't have much option in," he added.
While the loss of the Australian contract in itself isn't a major blow to the company's rebirth effort, a major US government agency IT department official told MacNN that "there is no way we are going back to the BlackBerry ecosystem, ever, for any reason." The new BlackBerry OS is reportedly seeing strong adoption in its native Canada and the UK, but little solid information has been revealed about US sales and recovery of lost contracts.