April 21, 2014

Blackberry 10 Devices approved for use by Department of Defense

BlackBerry Z10

Following the news that Apple iOS 6 and Samsung Galaxy phones would be approved for pentagon use, BlackBerry on Thursday announced the US Department of Defense (DoD) has approved the use of BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. The approval means all DoD customers can officially use the latest BlackBerry devices on DoD networks.

The DoD has now officially issued those approvals, and not only is iOS not mentioned, but BlackBerry 10 devices have been approved. BlackBerry itself announced that BB10 devices — the full lineup of the Z10, Q10, and the PlayBook — will be allowed on DoD networks when coupled with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.

The news shouldn’t be too surprising given that BlackBerry 10 received US government certification, more specifically Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 140-2 (FIPS PUB 140-2), before it even launched. This gave the green light to government agencies looking to deploy BlackBerry 10 smartphones and the company’s mobile enterprise management solution BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 the day they launch.

A Defense Department spokesperson confirmed that devices running Samsung Knox — a piece of software that essentially creates a separate, secured environment on your smartphone for business use — will also be allowed. Samsung Knox was originally going to ship with the Galaxy S4, but reports surfaced last month that the software would be delayed until July. It’s not clear if the delay was somehow related to the DoD approval, but it’s nevertheless good news for a feature that Samsung hopes will allow it to make additional inroads into the business community. Despite the news earlier this week, however, there’s still no confirmation when it comes to Apple’s mobile operating system. We’ve reached out to the DoD for further details.

A Defense Department spokesperson has confirmed that several other mobile devices and operating systems are also being reviewed for possible use. As for iOS, the Defense Information Systems Agency has a few outstanding questions about the operating system. It’s expected that iOS 6 will join BlackBerry 10 and Samsung Knox in being approved sometime in the next two weeks.

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