Research in Motion Inc.'s BlackBerrys "have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate," the NTSB said in a notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, which solicits bids for federal government work.
"The NTSB requires effective, reliable and stable communication capabilities to carry out its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations," the post said.
The agency noted iPhones would better link with the iPad tablets it is already using, The Wall Street Journal reported.
An NTSB representative declined to comment further, the Journal said.
RIM, which plans to launch a new phone early next year, responded by citing the reliability and security of its devices and network.
"Government organizations globally have trusted the reliability and security of BlackBerry for over a decade. They can continue to do so," the company said in a statement.