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European Commission chooses iPhone and HTC over Blackberry

The European Commission will equip its employees with Apple iPhone and HTC smartphones. The popular BlackBerry would not comply.

The search for a new smartphone began in 2008 when the Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, was deploying a new synchronization tool, prompting it to evaluate different devices on the market, including BlackBerrys. The EC has been using PDAs made by Q-Tek (later HTC) since 2003.

The EC made its new choice for smartphone based on all sorts of criteria such as safety, sustainability and financial impact. “HTC and iPhone mobile devices are the best platform for phone and mail. For this reason the Commission will support these two platforms,” said a spokesman.

The popular BlackBerry manufacturer RIM’s will not be supported. There has recently created much controversy surrounding this phone. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have already stated to block services of the company, because the security services in these countries cannot gain insight into the devices send messages. That would have played a major role in the decision of the EC.

RIM is also facing a shutdown of BlackBerry services in India over similar concerns. Reports have surfaced that RIM might be willing to compromise on its tight security to avoid the ban. But the company has so far denied such reports, insisting that its customer data is secure and that it could not accommodate any request to hand over the encryption key.

With the decision to switch to HTC phones and the iPhone, the Commission follows the trend in the industry. Many large international companies today give employees a choice of smartphones, where they initially only offered RIM phones.