Are rumors of BlackBerry's death greatly exaggerated?

The National Transportation Safety Board is the latest agency to drop BlackBerrys for iPhones, but you might not want to shovel dirt on RIM just yet.

The National Transportation Safety Board is the latest agency to drop BlackBerrys for another smart-phone platform, in this case the Apple iPhone. But government users might not want to shovel dirt on RIM just yet.

In a Notice of Intent issued recently, NTSB announced that it will issue a sole-source solicitation to Verizon Wireless to provide iPhone 5 devices. If the board goes through with this plan, then the 100 or so employees there will replace their current mobile devices with iPhones.

NTSB is following other agencies that have switched platforms, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and FirearmsU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Many pundits, as they have for some time, will identify these moves as some sort of death knell for Research In Motion, which makes the BlackBerry. Frankly, this sort of thing wouldn’t even be news if RIM hadn’t already dominated the government mobile workspace. In fact, announcements such as this are simply a sign that things are just now equalizing to a regular competitive marketplace.

True, things haven’t been great for RIM. But whether this continues and BlackBerry disappears from government remains to be seen. When the new BlackBerry 10 devices come out early next year, we will have a better idea. And I suspect that answer will be that BlackBerry will be just fine.

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