The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has decided to switch the workers at Immigration and Customs Enforcement from Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerries to Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones after eight years with the once-favored business device.
The switch, announced last week but signed in September, is worth $2.1 million to Apple. The bid was not opened to competition.
The agency said the switch to iPhones was made out of necessity, as its operations required “more capable and dynamic mobile technology,” though it also noted concerns about whether Research In Motion itself would survive.
The Customs branch’s migration away from BlackBerry is just the latest governmental setback for RIMM. Other agencies, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, have switched away from the device in recent years, and Washington staffers themselves have been increasingly heading toward iPhones and other smartphones.