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Pentagon insists: We will still support BlackBerry devices…including tablets

by Doug Drinkwater

March 22 2013

Pentagon will support iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices going forward
Pentagon will support iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices going forward

Pentagon and BlackBerry have denied reports that the U.S. Department of Defense is about to stop supporting BlackBerry devices.

It emerged yesterday that Pentagon may have ordered as many as 650,000 iPhones, iPads and iPods, with reports at the time suggesting that this deployment could spell the end for BlackBerry devices at the U.S. Department of Defense.

That, however, is simply not the case according to an official statement from the government agency.

"The department is aware of recent reporting that asserts it is 'dropping' BlackBerry. This reporting is in error,” said Lt. Col. Damien Pickart.

“The department recently released its mobility strategy and supporting implementation plan, which clarifies we are moving towards a mobile management capability that supports a variety of devices, to include BlackBerry.”

BlackBerry also moved quickly to deny the rumors with its own statement, which detailed that its devices are currently being security approved by the U.S. Department of Defense. The statement also hinted that the Pentagon may be lining up more PlayBooks in the near future.

“Our work with the U.S. Department of Defense is going well and the U.S. Department of Defense is moving forward with testing of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and the new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone," said a company official.

“We are currently working with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and anticipate Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIG) and Security Requirement Guide (SRG) approval for the BlackBerry Device Service, BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry PlayBook by early April.”

This is the latest good piece of news for BlackBerry, which has had two big commercial orders of late, and it may yet entice CEO Thorsten Heins to think carefully before abandoning attempts to make another tablet, especially if there is still government demand for the PlayBook. 

Shortly after the launch of BlackBerry 10 at the end of January, the company chief executive admitted that he had asked his teams to build another tablet, but said that the firm would only launch a PlayBook successful if he knew it could be profitable.

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