Washington Wire (wsj.com)
May 9, 2012
By Will Connors
Research in Motion Ltd. may have lost droves of consumers to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and devices run off Google Inc.’s Android. But on Wednesday it won a vote of confidence from one big customer: the Pentagon.
RIM, in a statement Wednesday, said the U.S. Department of Defense approved its newest line of smartphones, BlackBerry 7, for agency-wide use. A spokesperson for the Pentagon didn’t immediately return requests for comment.
Still, not all government agencies are sticking with BlackBerry. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have both introduced iPhones to many of their employees.
The BlackBerry 7 phones, launched last year, haven’t gained much traction in the key North American smartphone market, contributing to slowing BlackBerry sales world-wide.
New RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins admitted earlier this year that the company had done a poor job of marketing the BB7 phones, and that most existing BlackBerry users were on older, outdated models running off previous operating systems. Mr. Heins pledged that the company would ramp up marketing of the BB7 devices.