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iOS devices to replace aging Blackberrys

A report is making the rounds that the U.S. Department of Defense has plans to purchase a huge number of Apple gadgets. According to the report, the DOD plans to purchase 650,000 iOS devices to replace older BlackBerry devices (the Department of Defense currently has about 470,000 BlackBerry devices in use daily).

The DOD is tipped to be purchasing 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod Touches, and over 20,000 iPhones.

According to TechCrunch, "More than half are headed to the battlefield, afloat, and to associated support commands. Most of the rest will stay [at the Pentagon]."

According to the DOD, it will have 8 million smartphones in service over the next three years. In addition, devices used by the Department of Defense for classified data handling are modified for enhanced security with components that can quadruple their final cost.

The Department of Defense announced last year that BlackBerry would not have the exclusive contract for smartphone devices any longer. The Defense Department is seeking to become "device agnostic" with the goal of allowing soldiers and administrators to share data amongst devices more easily. 

Source: TechCrunch



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You'd think
By LordSojar on 3/21/2013 11:01:56 AM , Rating: -1
That they would go with an Android based ecosystem. This would serve as a cost cutting measure, firstly, and secondly, would allow them more (read: unlimited) control over the software and the ecosystem.

They could engineer their own android distro with insanely secure measures and then deploy that to all the Android devices. With Apple... fat chance of getting more security software side.

Seems like the DoD just wants to be "hip and modern" but really didn't think it through.

Also, iPhones + combat zones? Yes, because we all know how well iPhones survive simple non-combat zone drops and follies right? Sigh




RE: You'd think
By Dorkyman on 3/21/2013 11:18:50 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, but government wheels turn slowly, and procurement processes always tend to favor technology that's a few years old. Blackberry was king six years ago, Apple was king three years ago. I'm not surprised.


RE: You'd think
By JackBurton on 3/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: You'd think
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/21/13, Rating: 0
RE: You'd think
By XZerg on 3/21/13, Rating: 0
RE: You'd think
By vision33r on 3/22/2013 11:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
Apple is the new Blackberry.


RE: You'd think
By retrospooty on 3/22/13, Rating: 0
RE: You'd think
By Peter-B on 3/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: You'd think
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: You'd think
By Nortel on 3/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: You'd think
By kleinma on 3/21/2013 12:11:21 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, who wants that Chinese company Google making stuff for our government. They should use only Apple devices which are made only by Americans in America. Apple does not outsource any of their work to other companies in Asia like samsung and foxconn, that would just be crazy.


RE: You'd think
By Tony Swash on 3/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: You'd think
By LordSojar on 3/21/2013 12:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
Tony Tony Tony... You forget that Motorola also makes government tech a lot of the time.

It would be cheaper for the government to secure custom made phones and tablets through Moto (aka Google) with a custom Android distro + kevlar tech. The iPhone 5 cannot, and no Apple product will ever beat, Motorola's durability. So comparing it to a cheaply made plastic Samsung is laughable at best.

While Moto may have fallen behind in the consumer race, their tech is still top notch and that Kevlar technology they use on their phone shells makes them very durable. It's pretty tough to destroy one of their smartphones.

If Moto were to use Gorilla Glass 3 coupled with a newly designed Kevlar body on a government tablet and smartphone, the government would have devices that would endure through the worst possible conditions. Hell, Moto could even make them water resistant and dust proof for combat areas (Sony already did this, and in a much more fragile packaging no less).

Don't be daft Swash, I obviously wasn't talking about a Samsung running their Touchwiz android variant. Android is still more secure than iOS at the kernel level... provided you take the time to make it so. Having access to the base code of Android is what would make it more secure!


RE: You'd think
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/21/2013 12:09:08 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Don't be daft Swash
A weeeeeeeeee bit to late...


RE: You'd think
By Tony Swash on 3/21/2013 2:10:35 PM , Rating: 1
So essentially what you are saying is that if the Department of Defense selected a phone and tablet that as yet does not actually exist then they could in theory get a better phone and tablet than the iPhone and iPad.

OK.

Although you can't really blame them though for going for the devices that actually exist now, whose price is known, whose real world performance is known and which are immediately available for purchase can you?


RE: You'd think
By nikon133 on 3/21/2013 2:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but Motor hasn't got anything to replace iPod. What would army do without iPods- how would soldiers listen music from "Hair"?


RE: You'd think
By Nortel on 3/21/2013 3:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If Moto were to use Gorilla Glass 3 coupled with a newly designed Kevlar body...


quote:
...Moto could even make them water resistant and dust proof...


That's a lot of 'ifs' and 'coulds' there... The kevlar you speak of is a milimeter thick and in the center of the phone's back. The edges and front are completely unprotected, making the kevlar aspect a complete gimmick.

The Otterbox Armor or Lifeproof cases on a phone would make it all but indestructible... and those are available right now, no waiting years for a magical custom made Motorola offering.


RE: You'd think
By kleinma on 3/21/2013 12:22:46 PM , Rating: 2
Tony, why do you make no mention of things like the fact that Apple has had to put out 3 updates recently just to actually make the lock screen work so people can't get into sensitive data in your phone, and the day after they patch the latest flaw, another one surfaces that gives access to the phone when locked. That is exactly what the government should be using, insecure phones that can't even be locked properly.

Your malware link is a bunch of crap too, since this isn't malware in the sense of email attachments and corrupted websites, this is malware in the sense of apps that users download and install and do bad things. Any government issued devices would be well locked down to only run a standard image of what they allow.

If anything, this was either heavy lobbying on Apples part, of the decision makers simply already use apple devices for personal use (don't forget, most lawmakers are old farts who need simplified devices) so they felt more comfortable with that than considering other options.


RE: You'd think
By Tony Swash on 3/21/2013 3:15:01 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If anything, this was either heavy lobbying on Apples part, of the decision makers simply already use apple devices for personal use (don't forget, most lawmakers are old farts who need simplified devices) so they felt more comfortable with that than considering other options.


Clearly the Pentagon is run by a bunch of hipsters :)

Careful with the 'old fart' user demographic line, all surveys show iOS user are better educated, younger, more likely to live in the city than the rural backwaters and more likely to be a professional. Which makes sense as Android is used primarily in low end phones for users whose primary use is to just make phone calls.


RE: You'd think
By jimbojimbo on 3/21/2013 2:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Plus presumably the military would be hoping to get OS updates which are guaranteed on iOS and are rare on Android
If they're going to quadruple the cost of the devices implementing their own security the last thing they're going to want is some OS update that could break everything and introduce new problems. No, they will not want updates.


RE: You'd think
By Tony Swash on 3/21/2013 3:31:23 PM , Rating: 1
But they do probably want phones that can achieve this for the 9th time running.

http://www.slashgear.com/apple-no-1-for-9th-consec...

I try to imagine a world in which a competent US military logistics planner would choose the platform with the worst malware, lower satisfaction ratings and worst corporate security tools.


RE: You'd think
By kleinma on 3/22/2013 12:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
And how many lock screen flaws have surfaced in the past month, giving people access to the phone? Apple keeps patching it, and new flaws keep surfacing. Hopefully no classified information is on those iDevices.


RE: You'd think
By Ammohunt on 3/21/2013 12:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They could engineer their own android distro with insanely secure measures and then deploy that to all the Android devices. With Apple... fat chance of getting more security software side.


Never worked in government have you? These guys can't even keep foreign script kiddies out of their systems and you think they can build and maintain their own version of android? not to mention most government workers aren't tech savvy nor gadget people and iOS provides the most user friendly interface for these workers to get productive in the lease t amount of time. Not to mention iOS is a closed platform with that comes some security benefits.


RE: You'd think
By Breakfast Susej on 3/21/2013 12:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
Cost cutting what's that?

That doesn't matter when you're paying the bill with your taxes. Fart apps for all!


RE: You'd think
By Ramtech on 3/21/2013 12:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
NSA released SEAndroid in 2012
http://bit.ly/162PM44


RE: You'd think
By Nortel on 3/21/2013 1:34:45 PM , Rating: 1
You think the US government would ever use OPEN SOURCE software on all of their phones? I can't believe you got 5 upvotes for such a ludicrous statement.

Also, iPhones + combat zones? Yes, because we all know how easy it is to put on a big rubber otter case when the conditions demand it.


RE: You'd think
By Argon18 on 3/21/2013 2:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
Why would the military not use open source? It would allow them to create a custom solution, tailored to their needs. The military uses loads of custom hardware and software, built specifically for them. Why not phones? Open Source is also arguably more secure. Because the source code is publicly available, it has a lot more eyes on it, so issues get discovered and fixed far more rapidly than with a proprietary system.


RE: You'd think
By Nortel on 3/21/2013 2:45:54 PM , Rating: 1
So you think it would be cheaper to buy Android devices then hire a series of Android developers to customize a firmware solution vs simply buying iPhones? I would be offended if the DOD trusted their security with any open source garbage. China slips in a backdoor into the sourcecode and the government is fuc|<ed.


RE: You'd think
By Argon18 on 3/21/2013 4:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
You clearly do not have any experience with open source products, or an understanding of how open source software development works. Please excuse yourself from this discussion.


RE: You'd think
By Nortel on 3/22/2013 2:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I do... You see.. the overseers that check over new code before it gets merged into the main trunk could easily inject whatever they wanted and make it look legit.


RE: You'd think
By Argon18 on 3/21/2013 4:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
FYI, the DoD makes heavy use of open source already. The OpenBSD operating system is in widespread use at the Pentagon. Why? It's the most secure OS in the world that runs on commodity servers.


RE: You'd think
By Argon18 on 3/21/2013 2:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
Firstly, the iOS ecosystem, by nature of it's closed vetted app store, is more secure. It doesn't have anywhere near the amount of malware issues that Android has. Don't get me wrong, I'm an Android guy, but it's much harder for a non-savy user to screw up an iOS device.

Secondly, nowhere did the article mention "combat" usage. Plenty of soldiers work in non-combat roles. The military has office managers, IT geeks, and paper pushers, same as any other organization.


RE: You'd think
By Reclaimer77 on 3/22/2013 9:21:41 AM , Rating: 2
In America something like 0.003% of Android devices in the wild have malware. And that is from sideloading unverified apps or using a third party app store. Something I would hope Government employees wouldn't be doing in the first place.

In other words unless you're stupid, you won't have a problem with Android.


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