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US NOAA ditches BlackBerry, chooses Apple's iPhone and iPad

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the latest government organization to adopt Apple's iPhone and iPad after ditching Research in Motion's BlackBerry.

A memo sent out by NOAA Chief Information Officer Joseph F. Klimavicz, obtained by Jim Dalrymple of The Loop, reveals that the organization will continue support for the BlackBerry until May 12 of this year. Going forward, workers will be supplied with new iPhones and iPads.

Specifically, the organization will support the iPhone 4 running iOS 5 and up, along with the iPad 2 running iOS 5 and later. The memo was issued on Feb. 3.

Last May, The Washington Post described a trend in the U.S. federal government, in which agencies have been abandoning BlackBerry and turning to the iPhone. In addition, some parts of the government have been eschewing laptop purchases and are instead equipping public employees with iPads.

Apple's gains in the workplace have been in both the public and private sector, and the NOAA switch is yet another example of how RIM continues to lose ground in the corporate world — a market where the BlackBerry once reigned. Earlier this week, AppleInsider exclusively reported that Halliburton, one of the largest energy service corporations in the world, plans to phase out thousands of employee BlackBerrys in favor of the iPhone and Apple's iOS platform.

Halliburton made the decision after conducting "significant research" into both Apple's mobile platform as well as Google's Android mobile operating system. But the company "determined that the iOS platform offered the best capabilities, controls and security for application development."

During Apple's most recent quarterly earnings conference call, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said that "nearly all" of the Fortune 500 now approve and support the iPhone on their company networks.