US Government Agency Ditches BlackBerry for iPhone

December 19, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. disruption (n.) [dis-ruhp-shuh n] – an interruption or delay
Example: Poor weather condition can cause disruptions to phone signal. 

2. terminate (v.) [tur-muh-neyt] – to stop or finish something completely
Example: They terminated the contract with the company and did not renew it again.

3. ditch (v.) [dich] – (informal) to get rid of something; to stop having or using something
Example: He ditched his phone because it often loses power. 

4. unreliability (n.) [uhn-ri-lahy-uh-buh-lee-ti] -  the state of not being reliable or dependable
Example: Many customers did not buy the new product because of its unreliability.

5. operating system (n.) [op-uh-rey-ting sis-tuh m] - software that makes computers and mobile phones function and use programs
Example: Windows 8 is Microsoft's newest operating system.

Read the text below.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will stop using BlackBerry phones and will be using Apple’s iPhone 5 instead due to a high number of connection problems with BlackBerry services.

The NTSB, a 400-employee agency, investigates airplane and other transportation accidents.  The agency said it needs communication devices that can be trusted to work properly while keeping employees safe, but the Blackberry is not able to meet these needs.

The Blackberry international network experienced major disruptions in service twice this year, which may have affected the NTSB.

The NTSB is not the first government agency to terminate its agreement with BlackBerry. One month ago, the US Immigration and Customs agency and the US Department of Defense ditched the Blackberry device because of its unreliability. They are now considering products of companies such as Apple and Google.

Nonetheless, Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the Blackberry, is still confident in its services. RIM’s spokesperson said it has a million government clients in North America, while 400,000 people working for governments worldwide use BlackBerry services.

RIM is hoping that its newest smartphone, to be released in January, will boost the company’s business performance. The BlackBerry 10’s features include an updated operating system and a full touch screen. The new phone should also provide administrative offices with better protection because its security features were approved by the government.

RIM’s spokesperson added that the company is dedicated to providing the communication needs of government agencies and that the Blackberry 10 should work well for any government task.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How are mobile phones useful to government agencies?
·         How does the quality of technology used by government agencies affect their services to people?

Discussion B

·         What factors do you consider before buying a mobile phone?
·         How can mobile phone companies earn the loyalty of customers?


December 19, 2012