BlackBerry 10 and Samsung Knox cleared for use by Department of Defense
There are currently approximately 470,000 BlackBerry users out of the 600,000 reported mobile devices in the US Department of Defense. BlackBerry 10 is now cleared for purchase by groups, just as the Q10 is starting to appear.
Yesterday, ZDNet reported that Samsung and iOS devices would be getting Department of Defense (DoD) approval in the next couple weeks. It sounds like things happened faster than anticipated, as a Pentagon spokesperson reported to Reuters that BlackBerry 10 smartphones and PlayBooks with Enterprise Server 10 and Samsung Android devices with Knox have been cleared for use by the Department of Defense. Apple's iOS 6 devices should clear the Pentagon in early May.
BlackBerry has ruled the DoD in the past with current stats reporting that there are 470,000 BlackBerry users out of the 600,000 smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices in use. There are 41,000 Apple users and 8,700 with Android, but most of these are in pilot or test programs, so BlackBerry is still the standard bearer for DoD.
Now that device/service approvals have been granted, groups within the DoD will be able to purchase devices for their work. It will be interesting to see what devices are actually ordered and if BlackBerry continues to be the first choice for the government.
Given that there are so many within the DoD currently using older BlackBerry devices, I imagine that the new Q10 will be an attractive option with the hardware QWERTY keyboard. The Q10 is reportedly selling well, but I haven't had the chance to try one for any amount of time yet and do enjoy using the Z10.
Samsung's Knox was reported as delayed for a couple of months last week, so it looks like BlackBerry will have the jump on Samsung and iOS for those Defense groups looking to purchase new devices or upgrade soon.