Apple And Samsung Devices Could Soon Be Used At The Pentagon

The faint bell you may hear in the distance is the one tolling for BlackBerry. The Pentagon has given the green light (and the A-OK sign, and probably shouted, "go, Go, GO!") to both Apple and Samsung to bid for the business contracts for smartphones and tablets for its defense staff.

Almost all of the Pentagon's 600,000 smartphone users currently tote BlackBerry devices in their holsters, but security clearance is expected to be handed out to cover Samsung's Galaxy devices and Apple's iPhones and iPads. Both OSes, Samsung's Knox, a kevlar-enforced version of Android, and iOS 6 are currently under the microscope.

A Pentagon spokesman told Reuters that the Defense Department was "working towards establishing a multi-vendor environment that supports a variety of devices and operating systems to include Samsung, Apple, and BlackBerry. A key objective of the plan is to establish a department-wide enterprise solution."

Does this mean BlackBerry is holed beneath the waterline? Possibly not. As the Guardian points out, Blackberry has proposed its Balance system for the Pentagon, which demands mobile device management software to both control and secure the devices.

[Image by Flickr user mindfrieze]

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  • Ian Barnett

    interesting.... I am curious how deep the "security assessment" will go.  Will it pass through the layers of technology and include a review of the companies and employees..  technology in a way is a ubiquitous layer in that either group could beef up their requirements to suit the needs of the Pentagon. However Samsung can not suddenly become an American company... founded on American soil... employing the majority of it's force as Americans.  In a way you may argue that the American Government may have more power or control over its data / security with an American company.... 

    Samsung is an impressive company with a fantastic product... however... it is for the most part privately held*... and a critically important company to the Korean economy.  

    Apple... equally impressive... equally fantastic product... is publicly held... and resides on American soil.

    Curious to see this outcome.

    *one division of Samsung, Samsung Electronic is publicly held $SMSD