Department of Defense dumps Blackberry for iPhone: report

Department of Defense dumps Blackberry for iPhone: report

Summary: The United States Department of Defense is reportedly ordering more than 650,000 iOS devices to replace aging BlackBerrys.

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Credit: Josh Miller/CNET

The BlackBerry Z10 may be launching at the end of the week, but that hasn't stopped the U.S. military from seeking alternative devices and potentially exiting as one of BlackBerry's largest customers.

Electronista reports that as part of the mobile device testing program at the U.S. Department of Defense, 650,000 Apple devices will be ordered.

Based on the publication's "well-placed sources," once the government's sequester is over, the DoD will be ordering 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod touches and approximately 210,000 iPhones, although specific models "were not shared."

Most of these devices will find themselves "headed to the battlefield, afloat, and to associated support commands," and approximately half will be used at the Pentagon. Almost half a million old BlackBerry models are currently in use within the department, but as there is no backwards compatibility with the BlackBerry 10, the iOS devices are intended to replace these models.

Since these BlackBerry devices would have to be replaced eventually anyway, perhaps it is the case that the Department of Defense is willing to move to an older and more tested OS to save money and time — especially as Electronista's sources say that "some of the needs can't wait" — which would further push military officials to switch their preferred mobile devices. In addition, it has been suggested that the BlackBerry 10 was scrapped off the testing list as part of cutbacks, and therefore the BlackBerry 10 operating system couldn't go through the necessary security checks.

Recently, reports that BlackBerry's new BlackBerry 10 operating system failed to gain security clearance for U.K. government use were exposed as inaccurate, according to the government department responsible for issuing the certification.

Update 18.03gmt: A U.S. Department of Defense spokesman has said that BlackBerry is still part of ongoing DoD mobile tests.

Topics: BlackBerry, Government US, iPhone

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23 comments
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  • Huh?

    Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
    Didn't they just certify a hardened version of Android?
    And now they are going to the least secure of their three choices?

    I'll believe it when I see it happen.
    radleym
    • Android is hopelessly security problematic

      Android is unsecured malware infested junk. No way any government would use that wretched mobile OS.
      pgentry53
      • See the security-enhanced android (SEAndroid) project

        Here:

        http://selinuxproject.org/page/SEAndroid
        "Security Enhanced (SE) Android is a project to identify and address critical gaps in the security of Android. Initially, the SE Android project is enabling the use of SELinux in Android in order to limit the damage that can be done by flawed or malicious apps and in order to enforce separation guarantees between apps.

        I suspect that hardened Android devices will find their way into the DoD and military as well. Perhaps, the intelligence services too.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Re: Android is unsecured malware infested junk.

        Android has the best security model of any current mobile OS.

        And where is this Android "malware" people keep claiming is about? Can you offer a link?

        Because with Windows, it's easy: just leave the machine connected to the Internet for 20 minutes, and it will pick up a worm or virus. But these don't exist for Android.
        ldo17
        • Your MS hatred is obvious, since you can't write a post

          without trying to make it all about them.

          Sad, really

          And yet, the reports all show that Android is the malware king, so rewriting facts doesn't make them true.

          Sorry.
          William Farrel
    • You have to be joking right?

      The iPhone is not the least secure of the three. Android is a nightmare of a device. Plagued with malware and viruses. I work in the Attorney Generals department in Aus, we have adopted iPhones and iPads. The dsd hardening guide is already out for IOS. Android didnt come close to making the cut for us.
      Bike Baron
      • Re: Plagued with malware and viruses.

        Android has the best security model of any current mobile OS.

        And where is this Android "malware" people keep claiming is about? Can you offer a link?

        Because with Windows, it's easy: just leave the machine connected to the Internet for 20 minutes, and it will pick up a worm or virus. But these don't exist for Android.
        ldo17
        • Re: Plagued with malware and viruses.

          Windows Phone 8 has the best security model of any current mobile OS.

          And where is this Windows Phone "malware" you keep claiming is about? Can you offer a link?

          Because with Android, it's easy: just leave the phone connected to the Internet for 20 minutes, and it will pick up a worm or virus. But these don't exist for Windows Phones.

          Or you can just install an Android app. That works just as well. :)
          William Farrel
  • Your dime

    Its their phone and your dime, guess which phone they are going to buy. Answer: the most expensive phone. They are probably in negotiations with apple to see if they can pay more for it.
    George Tults
  • We "can't" affoard white house tours

    but we can buy iToys
    everss02
  • This is great news

    It means that 650,000 ios devices no longer "count".

    We all know that if your boss buys your computing device and assigns it to you, it doesn't count as a choice and therefore doesn't count as a sale.

    At least that's been the rule up until now.
    toddbottom3
    • LOL

      .
      Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Not Quite Understanding your Logic

      I read your comments with some interest and find it interesting in some of thr longer threads how you waltz into a corner. Your comment this time does not even need a long thread to get you into it. Using your theory then possibly Linux or OSX may be the #1 OS on PCs, laptops, netbooks and other devices where the OS is mandated by the employer as Windows has the greater share of the business environment. Logic applied, seems to lead to a more realistic result. I am not an IT person, nor married in loyalty to any OS so I am not knocking your preference for MS products as in the beginning of the microcomputer age, DOS and MS helped the world skip what could have been several computer generations of discord as to interoperateability. I do find it historically and academically interesting that UNIX and its offspring Xenix were probably the emerging predominant competitors back then as Radio Shack, the largest microcomputer manufacturer at the dawn of the IBM pc maker had settled on Xenix as its standard to replace TRSDOS and CPM16 was all but a dead OS. Today the Linux and Linux derived systems such as Android, Chrome, as well as possibly the largest UNIX microcomputer OS all owe their beginnings back to UNIX, either directly or in concepts. Other than QNX, I am not sure today there is any OS whose roots do not go back to AT&T's work. I am not sure
      BrianLevyEsq
      • Typo?

        "Using your theory then possibly Linux or OSX may be the #1 OS on PCs, laptops, netbooks and other devices where the OS is mandated by the employer as Windows has the greater share of the business environment"

        Should that be: "where the OS is NOT mandated by the employer"?

        I never made up the rule that corporate sales "don't count". It was the apple and Linux fanboys that made up this rule.

        I think a sale you are paid for counts. Period. I just wanted to give the apple fanboys an opportunity to reconsider their position that enterprise sales "don't count". I'm a nice guy that way.
        toddbottom3
  • ha ha ha ha ha ha :)

    The "toys" are on the rise!

    This is too funny.
    harvey_rabbit
  • You people need better sources!

    Another day, another BlackBerry doom and gloom RUMOUR on ZDNet. This is getting boring. Here's an article from Wired that uses an ACTUAL named source in the Pentagon to refute ZDNet's latest propagation of anti-BlackBerry FUD: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/03/pentagon-blackberry/
    I think Wired is starting to look like a much better site to get my technology news from.
    xenrobia
  • Complete lie

    do you mind retracting the lies that you post? Pentagon has denied that they are dropping BB
    belleg
  • Aging devices.

    I'm pretty sure they are referring to the old curves with the trackball on them. companies that purchase blackberry phones always get the low end models to "save money"
    jdubb2600
  • I am SHOCKED that Microsoft products weren't chosen!!!

    With the HUMONGOUS installed base of Microsoft PCs the U.S. government operates, why in blue blazes didn't they choose Surface and WP8?!?!?
    Userama
  • When only the best will do.

    If you look at all the factors there is really no other choice.

    Android is a wild west circus. Way too loosey goosey.

    Everthing about BB is a big question mark.

    Windows Phone...not sure what's going on there but it ain't good.

    iPhone:
    Solid "no BS" OS
    High quality hardware
    Secure
    Highly usable
    Proven
    USA company
    Single source
    CowLauncher