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.