Blackberry prepares to take another blow as another major U.S. Government agency opens up to an “agnostic” mobile device philosophy
Last year, the United States Transportation Board said that they were dropping Blackberry and going to go with Apple mobile devices because,“The iPhone 5 has been determined to be the only device that meets the dual requirement of availability from the existing wireless vendors” They aren’t the only American government agency now causing Blackberry more possible strategic issues in maintaining U.S. Government preference.
The DoD has been a BlackBerry shop for quite some time now. According to a Bloomberg report, Blackberry has nearly ½ million mobile devices in use by the Pentagon, but Pentagon employees now want the “flexibility” to use their own preferred mobile devices, including iOS and Android and starting next year (2014) the government is actually going to do it.
In February of 2014, the Pentagon will open up its networks to Apple iPhones and iPads, that according to Bloomberg as well. In fact, the Air Force has already “last year awarded a $9.36 million contract to buy as many as 18,000 Apple iPad 2s to replace the bags of paper manuals and charts carried by pilots and navigators.”
Instead of just appointing devices to employees through awarded contracts to companies such as Blackberry, the Pentagon wants to give their workers mobile device choices of their own. One Air Force Maj General said that, “We’re going to be device agnostic”. It seems that by using a multi-brand approach, the Department of Defense feels as though they are better positioning themselves to use the best-of-the-best, of all device possible. It’s said that they feel that this is possible because any brand that can meet their hard-line security requirements should be worthy of being used on their network.
Once again though, the focus here at the moment is on Blackberry, for whom this is not positive news. This change has yet to take affect, but is in place to within 365 days. Being the Pentagon’s largest smartphones brand, they surely stand to lose quite a bit as Pentagon users choose to use their preferred devices. More than likely the ones they use on a daily basis will be their choice, and that is not typically Blackberry.