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Pentagon gives thumbs up to iPhone, iPad & Android devices in a potential blow to BlackBerry

by David Needle

October 30 2012

President Barack Obama reviews some photos on an iPad.
President Barack Obama reviews some photos on an iPad.

The Defense Department is making plans to add hundreds of thousands of new devices including, for the first time, those made by Apple and those running Android.

A report in the Washington Post (via Bloomberg Government) says the Defense Department plans to hire a contractor to build a system that will manage and secure at least 162,500 Android devices as well as Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The system may be expanded to handle 8 million devices, the department said.

The Pentagon wants to allow employees to access its network with a broader range of mobile devices so it can “take advantage of the increasing wireless capabilities that exist and that are developing in the marketplace,” according to the contracting document. 

Paul Lucier, VP of government solutions for Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM, said in an e-mailed statement that the military left BlackBerry compatibility off its requirement list because it already has a RIM system to manage the devices.

Earlier this year, RIM released BlackBerry Mobile Fusion software that lets organizations manage iPhones and Android devices alongside BlackBerrys on their networks.

“We are excited for the opportunity to include BlackBerry Mobile Fusion” in the military’s portfolio, Lucier said in his statement.

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