US government moving towards iPhone, iPad, Gmail
Kundra himself carried both a BlackBerry out of necessity and an iPhone out of desire, but wanted to consolidate around the iPhone to be a "one-device guy." Technology at home was now frequently better than what was at government offices, leading many to bring devices in on their own because they either wanted to or in some cases felt it was necessary.
"If you look at the average school kid, he or she probably has better technology in his or her backpack than most of us do in government offices," he said.
Only about 50 iOS devices are in use at the ATF, but the number is expected to double. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory previously had 1,000 BlackBerry phones, all of them required, but has seen about 300 of those go towards iPhones and Android.
Online, the GSA was moving to Gmail and planned to cut its costs by half in dropping the Microsoft option. Agriculture Department officials were moving to a Microsoft cloud option, though it too would save money, or about $6 million a year.
The device moves have raised concerns about security, since the default mail option on Android and iOS isn't as secure as the BlackBerry. Those with 3G and 4G devices can also get online and potentially pass government data along while bypassing the entire local network.
A gradual switch away is nonetheless a major blow to both Microsoft and RIM. The BlackBerry has already been losing share as personal users and private businesses have been either trialing or using alternative smartphones, including an iPhone test at Deutsche Bank. Microsoft has also tried to make Exchange the de facto platform for corporate e-mail but has seen cheaper and at times more secure web options appear that pushed it to refine a system of its own.