RIM just got some good news from a government contractor. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) plans to hold off on its switch to the iPhone, until the release of BlackBerry 10. According to a BlackBerry spokeswoman, the government agency plans to begin a pilot program on RIM’s new line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES 10) early next year.
In a release, the Waterloo company went in more detail when talking about the ICE pilot program, saying the agency will be “among the first government organizations to pilot the new BlackBerry 10 solution.” This is great for Research In Motion as it tries to save itself from irrelevancy. Keeping its relationship with ICE will prevent more than 17,600 employees from switching their BlackBerrys to iPhones.
We shouldn’t read too much into this because we don’t know what ICE’s true attentions are. Hell, after the pilot program, they could still choose to move over to the iPhone. However, changes in BlackBerry 10 may ultimately be enough for government agencies like ICE to stay loyal with the troubled company. Yet, we won’t know for sure what RIM’s fate will be until BlackBerry 10 devices officially launch at the end of January.