Immigration agency drops Blackberrys for iPhones

ICE used Blackberrys for eight years, but the agency said it decided to end its contract with BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) because its employees "require the use of more capable and dynamic mobile technology to support its mission and personnel." 

The agency said it chose Apple over phones with Google's Android operating system because Apple's "strict control of the hardware platform and operating system" gives ICE the "greatest degree of control and management to ensure the most reliable delivery of services" to its employees. 

The announcement is a blow to RIM, which was a trailblazer in the smartphone marketplace but has fallen well behind Apple and Google-based phones. The company plans to release its new BB10 smartphone in early 2013.

"Of course, we are disappointed by this decision," RIM vice president of government solutions Paul Lucier told Reuters. "We are working hard to make [sure] our new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10, meets the future needs of government customers."

He said that after accounting for ICE's decision, the company still has one million government users in North America.