Pentagon to end exclusive deal with RIM's Blackberry

Nov 01, 2012
The Pentagon will no longer retain an exclusive contract with Blackberry maker Research in Motion and has invited companies such as Apple to offer smart phones to its vast work force.

The Pentagon will no longer retain an exclusive contract with Blackberry maker Research in Motion and has invited companies such as Apple to offer smart phones to its vast work force.

The move, announced Thursday, comes only days after another government agency, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, said it was dropping the Blackberry device altogether in favor of Apple's iPhone.

The Defense Department insisted it would still continue to work with Blackberry phones and that "large numbers of RIM devices" would remain in use among thousands of military personnel and civilians working for the Pentagon.

"DoD is not moving away from RIM and the use of Blackberry mobile devices," spokesman Lieutenant Damien Pickart said in an email.

The Pentagon, however, wants to establish a "multi-vendor environment" while still adhering to "strict security requirements," he added.

The US military and intelligence agencies have long preferred the Blackberry due to security concerns and had worried that Apple, Android and other smart phones lacked sufficient safeguards.

But the technology has advanced and Pentagon officials said innovative applications available on other smartphones could be useful for different units or offices.

"There's a lot more flash and bang with an or an Android," said one defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Canadian firm RIM has struggled to compete against the iPhone and devices that use 's Android system.

The change at the Pentagon would likely be carried out as a pilot project in a particular unit or organization, the official said.

Questions remain, however, as to whether companies other than Blackberry can meet the strict encryption criteria employed by within the Defense Department, including the eavesdropping .

Explore further: India on tap as first market for Microsoft Lumia 535

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US military to pack more BlackBerry smartphones

May 09, 2012

Research In Motion (RIM) on Wednesday announced that the US Department of Defense staff and partners have been given the go-ahead to use more of the Canadian firm's BlackBerry OS 7 smartphones.

A look at RIM's much-delayed BlackBerry 10

Jun 28, 2012

On Thursday, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. announced yet another delay to its upcoming BlackBerry 10 system, which the company considers crucial to its future. It's now expected in the first quarter ...

Blackberry buddies up to game developers

Nov 09, 2009

Research In Motion (RIM) on Monday announced it is making Blackberry devices friendlier to game applications, as the business-oriented smartphones try to show a more playful side.

BlackBerry maker out to capitalize on rivals

Apr 03, 2012

Research In Motion launched a new software platform Tuesday that lets businesses manage smartphones made by rivals that have been devouring the BlackBerry maker's market share.

Recommended for you

Netflix sues Yahoo CIO for alleged kickbacks

11 hours ago

Netflix is suing a former company vice president who is now chief information officer at Yahoo, accusing him of receiving money from vendors he hired to work with the video streaming company.

BlackBerry courts iPhone users with cash

Nov 25, 2014

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is wooing Apple customers with a cash offer for trade-ins of iPhones for its new square-screened, keyboard-equipped Passport.

HP earnings show continued struggle

Nov 25, 2014

Venerable tech giant Hewlett-Packard has been struggling for three years to turn its business around. Its latest earnings show it still has more work ahead.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.