US Department of Defense: Bye bye BlackBerry, hello iPhone!

RIM, now BlackBerry, have had a difficult few years. A dwindling market share, coupled with high profile outages, has caused the consumer to lose faith in the once powerful platform. But for RIM, the Enterprise was always going to be a steady source or income, wasn’t it? 

Well, maybe not for long. The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced plans to order 630,000 iDevices to add to their ranks. While this isn’t really newsworthy, it’s the 210,000 various iPhone models that will replace the current crop of BlackBerry handsets that catches the eye most of all.

BlackBerry was always known for their secure device for mobile email and data in the past. But times have changed and Google, Apple and Microsoft have caught up to, and in this case have surpassed, BlackBerry at their own usually reputable game. According to Electonista, the BB10 OS just isn’t compatible with the DoD’s new mobile plan that was introduced last month. In fact, BlackBerries running OS 7.1 would have been incompatible with the same mobile plan.

With 470,000 BlackBerries in use within the DoD, having nearly half that number retired due to iPhone use will be a blow to BlackBerry’s hopes of a resurgence with BB10 devices. Just this week, both BlackBerry and the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had to both state that the OS had not yet been put through its paces for secure government use.

So, where does that leave the BlackBerry platform? With the funds gone, the DoD will likely not be investing in any new BlackBerry handsets anytime soon. And don’t forget, this puts Apple in a very strong position in a massive enterprise site, giving them bragging rights over Google and Microsoft in the Mobile space.

Source: Tech Crunch | Image: BlackBerry

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Adblock Plus back on Android, giving Google Play the cold shoulder

Next Story

Fresh Paint update for Windows Blue spotted in Microsoft Research video

39 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

matt4pack said,
Another day another false Blackberry story on Neowin.

Great job guys on making this site a joke.

Back in the days Neowin was actually a reliable source for info and also provided good info and reviews as an enthusiast site, now they just report anything and everything and sometimes, can't even add an update to a story like this one.

NEOWIN, YOU FULL OF ****.

Calm yourselves, defense bureaucrats. The Pentagon isn't about to swap out your BlackBerries for the latest iPhones and iPads.

That, however, was the promise of anonymous “well-placed sources” in an eye-opening Electronista story Wednesday. Those sources said that the Pentagon was on the verge of phasing out “nearly all” of the hundreds of thousands of BlackBerries issued to its employees, and replacing them with some 650,000 iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.

“There is no truth to this claim,” says Air Force Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a spokesman for the Pentagon's new mobility initiative. “We are not looking to replace those 470,000 BlackBerries with the systems they claim we're looking to order.”


Big caveat: the Pentagon's new “mobility” plan may lead troops and Pentagon civilians to get secured Apple smartphones and tablets. Ditto for Android devices. And Windows devices. “And let's not leave RIM out of that picture,” John Hickey, the mobility program manager for the Defense Information Systems Agency, told reporters last month.

Ultimately, what the Pentagon wants is a “variety of devices,” as the mobility plan's catchphrase puts it, and, quite possibly, a variety of operating systems powering them. The Defense Department is still shopping around, and a decision on whether it wants to throw all its mobility eggs in the basket of a single operating system is months away. Mobile companies won't even get the Pentagon's new data-security guidelines for another 90 days.

It would certainly be something for the Defense Department to place a huge order with Cupertino for over half a million expensive iOS devices in the ostensible age of austerity wrought by mandated congressional budget cuts. Thus far, Android devices have the edge for the piecemeal mobile purchases that the armed services, and especially the Army, have made.

Admittedly, those cuts aren't stopping the Pentagon from spending roughly $1 billion on a mere 14 missile interceptors bound for Alaska, nor convincing the Air Force that maybe it shouldn't spend money on a Fantasy Football league. But the Defense Department has moved into the age of mobile computing very, very slowly, and going high-end during a time when it's crying poverty is an invitation to criticism on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

“Every couple weeks, there's another report that we're abandoning BlackBerries, and that is just so far from the truth,” Pickart adds. Someone still loves you, company-formerly-known-as-RIM.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/03/pentagon-blackberry/

Well this is news to me. Because I didn't know any US department of anything certified the iPhone to be secure enough to use. It's always been Windows and Windows Mobile and recently Android.

But of course since the US Military is audited by the US Government, they are free to spend taxpayer dollars however they want. US Tax dollars at work, but yet they are fighting over government spending?

630,000 iPhone would cost more than buying 630,000 Galaxy S 4's. I wish someone would accidently blow them up using Apple Maps. Dirt swine's!

a modded iphone which will be a dumb phone I guessing. No front or back cameras, thats a giving for gov't issue phones and OS will be totally strip down for more secure gov't use.

Zedox said,
Typo: Defense...not Defence...

I guess the author is British . But yeah, in this context it should be defense.

I wonder if blackberry has the strength to recover. I hope so.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Sadly enough they'd probably be more accurate if they did.

Wanna place a bet. Well you better pray a drone doesn't blow your house up. Google Maps blows the doors off Apple Maps. I bet we could do 25 random address searches of known addresses and I bet Apple Maps will get more of them wrong.

TechieXP said,
Wanna place a bet. Well you better pray a drone doesn't blow your house up. Google Maps blows the doors off Apple Maps. I bet we could do 25 random address searches of known addresses and I bet Apple Maps will get more of them wrong.

It was a joke about the accuracy of military intelligence - it had nothing to do with Google Maps.

Dinggus said,
Yes since you know the accuracy of the US Military intelligence.

We all know the inaccuracy of US military intelligence... or have you forgotten the Iraq War? Have you forgotten the complete surprise of Iranian revolution in '79? Have you forgotten the hundreds of innocent civilians killed in drone strikes?

theyarecomingforyou said,

We all know the inaccuracy of US military intelligence... or have you forgotten the Iraq War? Have you forgotten the complete surprise of Iranian revolution in '79? Have you forgotten the hundreds of innocent civilians killed in drone strikes?

Nope, hard to forget the 15 months I lived in a city in Iraq.

If you want to turn this into a war debate, then PM me.

btw, they will not use regular iphone but special version. So please, don't conclude to say that iphone is more safe or resistant or whatever.

Brony said,
btw, they will not use regular iphone but special version. So please, don't conclude to say that iphone is more safe or resistant or whatever.

Special version? Like a modded version of the OS like what the Military did for Android?

remixedcat said,
and after all the screwups apple has been doing lately.... lol

I honestly don't think this is about security, I think its more about a) Investing in a US company b) Going with a platform many of their users will like and be able to use c) Can't be bothered to evaluate the plethora of Android and WP devices out there and make a conclusion on their "security".

remixedcat said,
and after all the screwups apple has been doing lately.... lol

As we all know BlackBerry, Microsoft and Google haven't made any mistakes of their own...