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NOAA ditches BlackBerry for the iPhone and iPad

The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (via The Loop) is turning the tide in its IT department. Doing what many companies are doing these days, NOAA plans to ditch RIM’s BlackBerry in favor of Apple’s iPhone and iPad. NOAA’s support for the BlackBerry will end May 12, 2012, according to a memo sent to CIO Joseph F. Klimavicz. NOAA did not give a time frame for the roll out.

This is a broader move in the “consumerization” of IT.  Apple makes very little effort to woo IT departments, instead making products that consumers want to bring to work (Read: the CxOs want iPhones).  Coupled with the crashing market share and outlook for RIM, smart IT departments are getting ahead of the curve by moving to iOS.

Oil company Halliburton is also making similar moves over the next two years by dumping the BlackBerry platform and moving to the iPhone. In an internal memo, Halliburton said after “significant research,” the iPhone is more favorable than Android.

Companies seem to like the iPhone’s ease of controls, smart capabilities, and application designed around security. The iPhone now also offers iMessage, which gives companies a better version of BBM on their iPhones.  The App Store now has half a million Apps, many of which can be tailored to business.

The United States’ Air Force also announced that it would buy up to 18,000 iPads to roll out in its cargo planes. The iPads will replace heavy paper manuals that pilots need to use.

It is not clear how quickly NOAA will roll out the iPhone and iPad across its fleet, but the agency should be sensible enough to wait for the iPad 3 and perhaps iPhone 5.

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