Apple and Google-powered smartphones and tablets will be used on classified Department of Defense networks for the first time

BlackBerry (formerly known as Research in Motion, or RIM) had a strong hold on mobile device competition in the Pentagon, but that’s about to change as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems move in.
The U.S. Defense Department announced yesterday that it will open its communications networks to iOS and Android devices by next February.
The Pentagon uses more than 600,000 mobile devices, where about 470,000 are BlackBerrys, 41,000 are Apple devices and 8,700 Android-powered. However, several of the iOS and Android devices aren’t connected to the Defense Department networks.
The Defense Department uses two communications networks: one for unclassified information and another for classified information. Most BlackBerrys work only on the unclassified network, but with the new rules, commercial devices from BlackBerry, Apple and Google will be able to work on the classified network for the first time.
“This is not simply about embracing the newest technology – it is about keeping the department’s workforce relevant in an era when information accessibility and cybersecurity play a critical role in mission success,” said Teri Takai, the Department of Defense’s chief information officer.
This certainly isn’t good news for BlackBerry, which had a lot of issues in the past and proved to be troublesome for government users. For instance, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ditched their BlackBerrys in May 2012 in favor of iPhones while the Immigration and Customs Enforcement followed suit in September. In October, the Defense Department left its BlackBerrys behind and chose to go with Android and Apple devices instead while the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) left BlackBerry for a new fleet of iPhone 5s.
the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ditched their BlackBerrys in May in favor of iPhones. Immigration and Customs Enforcement followed suit in September, and in October, the Defense Department left its BlackBerrys behind and chose to go with Android and Apple devices instead. - See more at:
However, BlackBerry is attempting to make a comeback with its new BlackBerry 10 software and line of devices. The new line was announced last month, and they’ll be released in the U.S. next month.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is currently looking for a company or several companies to develop the new architecture. It plans to make a selection by early summer.

Source: Reuters

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