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Pentagon Approval of iOS and Samsung KNOX Is Bad News for BlackBerry 49

Posted by Soulskill
from the slicing-up-that-sweet-taxpayer-pie dept.
rjupstate writes "The Pentagon is quickly moving to approve the latest devices and platforms from BlackBerry, Samsung, and Apple. That's good news for two of those companies. It's not-so-good news for BlackBerry. 'The Pentagon currently has about 600,000 smartphone users – almost all using BlackBerrys – but ultimately aims to have as many as 8m smartphones and tablets, under the terms of a scheme made public last November.' 'In its effort to expand into the high security government niche, one that BlackBerry has enjoyed near singular control of for years, Samsung recently created a government advisory board made up of Samsung executives and security experts from various U.S. and foreign government security agencies. ... In the end, the program will likely elevate that status of both Apple and Samsung within military and civilian government agencies in the U.S. and other western countries.'"
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Pentagon Approval of iOS and Samsung KNOX Is Bad News for BlackBerry

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  • Puhleez (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @03:29PM (#43623265)

    Come one now, everything is bad news for BlackBerry these days.

    • But the CEO said that tablets will be gone in 5 years. Surely he knows it all from behind the walls of his struggling company?

      In 5-10 years, that statement will be on par with "Nobody will ever need more than 640k"

      • by ganjadude (952775)
        look at netbooks 2008 vs netbooks 2013.. I dont think he is wrong per se, Tablets (in their current form) are consumer devices, the same as a TV or a video game console. but they are not a replacement for a PC, at least not in the way they are being sold right now anyway

        if the CEO of RIM said that tablets in their current form will be dead in 5 years, I think the answers from most would be different
      • by jrumney (197329)

        But the CEO said that tablets will be gone in 5 years

        He was right. What you didn't realize was that he was only talking about his own company's products.

  • by JLavezzo (161308) on Friday May 03, 2013 @03:35PM (#43623319) Homepage

    I don't understand how the takeaway from this is bad news for Blackberry. The same announcement that Samsung's Knox was approved said that Blackberry 10 is approved.
    http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=119929 [defense.gov]
    “We are pleased to add Blackberry 10 and the Samsung Knox version of Android to our family of mobile devices supporting the Department of Defense,” the spokesman said. “We look forward to additional vendors also participating in this process, further enabling a diversity of mobile devices for use within the department.”

    • by fuq2_nick (1557919) on Friday May 03, 2013 @03:37PM (#43623337)
      Blackberry previously had almost exclusive control over the government market. Now they don't - there are now other equally acceptable options such as Samsung and Apple. Blackberry has to compete, rather than simply exist.
      • by fatalwall (873645)

        I wouldn't have much of an issue with having to compete when the available number went from 600,000 to 8,000,000. That provides 7,400,000 new potential sales and IT staff that are more friendly to BlackBerry due to the management ability they have over them compared to Android and iPhone devices without third party software. You dont actually think each user gets to pick which device they are going to use do you?

        • by dimeglio (456244)

          BES supports iOS [appleinsider.com] and Android. Doesn't look like it requires third party software.

        • by alen (225700)

          BES is third party software as well and not very liked either

          how much is it? $5000 plus $75 per user license?

        • Not when nobody wants your product. They will most likely end with less customers now that the market is open than they were before.
        • by Kjella (173770)

          You dont actually think each user gets to pick which device they are going to use do you?

          No, but collectively users do and they pretty much hate RIM [tapscape.com], they're down to 0.7% of new sales and while they still have a bit bigger install base to attract developers it's dwindling fast. Once the approvals are in place they'll follow the 94.7% of users already on Android or iOS, to me that'd be a no-brainer for a new rollout today.

      • Not only that, but the certification carries implication in the private sector as well.

      • by cyn1c77 (928549)

        Blackberry previously had almost exclusive control over the government market. Now they don't - there are now other equally acceptable options such as Samsung and Apple. Blackberry has to compete, rather than simply exist.

        Sounds like Microsoft. And it's working well for them!

    • by steelfood (895457)

      I don't understand how the takeaway from this is bad news for Blackberry.

      You don't understand why a monopoly is good for business and bad for the customer?

    • by alen (225700)

      only the luddites want a blackberry at this point

      almost everyone wants an iphone 5 or a Galaxy S3/4

      • How does preferring the tactile response of a physical mini-keyboard to the lack of response of a flat sheet of glass make one a Luddite? Or do you just claim that "almost everyone" doesn't give an expletive about usage errors caused by autocorrect?
        • If you're not proof-reading messages before hitting send, you're doing it wrong anyway. Touchscreen or physical keyboard. That said, I message far faster on an android device than BB's keyboards or iOS thanks to SwiftKey. BB nor iOS efficiently learn typing habits of their users, so in the past 2 years, I've never had an autocorrect happen. Food for thought.
    • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday May 03, 2013 @04:41PM (#43623975)

      I don't understand how the takeaway from this is bad news for Blackberry. The same announcement that Samsung's Knox was approved said that Blackberry 10 is approved.

      Okay, we'll take it slow. Blackberry phones have been approved in the DoD for years. Android phones were never approved until this decision. Where Blackberry had a monopoly, they now have competition. This is not good news for them.

  • If Blackberry really thought they would hold the market forever they were crazy. They had the first super secure smart phone but that really just couldn't last. If I were the CEO of Blackberry or the CSO I would of quickly been finding new ways to capitalize other markets for my phones. Thinking you can remain on top of the world forever will cause you to become IBM or Microsoft, eventually you're bound to fall, the smart people are the ones who planned for it and can keep on rolling, Blackberry I really
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      they shoudl offer a micro edition of BES so parents can manage their kid's smartphone activity. announce the product a few days after the next teen sexting scandal.
  • lunacy. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Friday May 03, 2013 @03:43PM (#43623415)
    In what weird parellel universe is the android os ever considered secure?
    • Has Blackberry given the Pentagon access to their source code? With Android the Pentagon can create their own distro.
      • by adri (173121)

        .. really? You mean, all of the phone firmware and wifi firmware and bluetooth firmware and drivers are all 100% open source?

        Cool.

        Otherwise, yes, the phone vendors will have to co-operate even further with the Pentagon over what is offered today in open source.

  • The article says 600,000 smart phone users and that there will be 8 millions in a few years, including tablets. That is really far off.
    there are around 3.2 million DoD employees, active, reserve, and civilian. Lets add a bunch of contractors and say an even 4 million. Very few people get black berries most get regular cellular phone, however even the cheapest cell phones have some "smart" qualifications.
    there is no way there are even close to 600,000 using black berries, android or apple devices.
    that
    • Could be a multi year projection. IE they will plan to need 8 million phones over 5 years. More likely it is just padded number or curuption.
  • Ha ha, Slashdot.

    Trying to trick us by pretending there was something called Blackberry.

    Nice try.

  • What happened to the good old day rules that said NO USING PERSONAL DEVICES FOR SENSITIVE GOVERNMENT WORK?

    There was this concept called the 'air gap', as well.

    The basis of all of it was that as a person involved in sensitive government work you have absolutely no reason/business using technologies that are not provided to you to carry out the job. This reality is still possible today. You do not need a blackberry/iphone/etc to do your job and you can live without it until 5PM or whenever you get in your c

    • by risacher (41716)

      What makes you think that these are personal devices? This article is about government-issued devices.

      Industry may be big on BYOD (i.e. people using personal devices to do work) but in the DoD, that is still an odd idea that is uncomfortable to most security people. Personally I think we may get there eventually, but not without something like a separation kernel [wikipedia.org].

      For example: I am a DoD employee; I have a government-issued blackberry. I use it to access my (unclassified) government email when I am not in

  • BB phones are solid. That's because the phones took years to polish and improve. The tablets are still new and the OS not quite polished. Their over-confidence left this client frustrated. BB's corporate hegemony meant they did not have to exert their usual effort, particularly with their Playbook OS, which has a lot of glitches. Customer support for the Playbook is also lacking. Now that competition is shaking things up, BB will be forced to reevaluate their products and customer (dis)satisfaction, take OS

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