Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

RIM Picking Up the Costs of Customs Department’s BlackBerry 10 Trial

It’s clearly good news for Research In Motion that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department is willing to give BlackBerry 10 a second look.


It was a big customer before, and its initial decision to dump RIM in favor of the iPhone was a noteworthy blow. A key to the success of BlackBerry’s future is being able to hang on to as many businesses and government entities as possible.

But it should also be noted that it is RIM itself that is paying all the costs of the trial, a fact the company confirmed to AllThingsD on Thursday. That doesn’t mean that ICE — and other big customers — won’t stick with RIM, but it is a reminder of who has more skin in the game here.

It’s a point clearly not lost on RIM, either.

“ICE has been a valued BlackBerry customer for years, and our commitment to government agencies has influenced the development of the BlackBerry 10 platform,” said RIM Senior VP Scott Totzke.

RIM is set to formally unveil the first BlackBerry 10 devices at an event on Jan. 30, with the first carrier launches to follow shortly after. The company has already obtained some government certifications for BlackBerry 10 — another important step in luring federal agency customers.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik