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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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RE: You'd think
By Tony Swash on 3/21/2013 11:42:28 AM , Rating: -1
It's probably gotten something to do with this sort of thing. Notice the proportions in the chart: iOS 0.7% compared to Android 79%

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/07/f-secure-android-...

As for the physical toughness issue that's fairly clear cut, the iPhone 5 is much tougher compared to the Android equivalent Galaxy 3 (and if anyone wants to dispute that I would happy to post many links to comparative drop tests).

Plus presumably the military would be hoping to get OS updates which are guaranteed on iOS and are rare on Android.


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.


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