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: WhatsApp says it now has half billion users

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

SK Hynix posts Q1 surge in net profit

1 hour ago

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said Thursday its first-quarter net profit surged nearly 350 percent from the previous year on a spike in sales of PC memory chips.

Zynga founder Pincus leaving operations role

12 hours ago

Online game maker Zynga says company founder Mark Pincus is stepping down as chief product officer, less than a year after he was replaced as the company's CEO.

Amazon Prime wins streaming deal with HBO

16 hours ago

Amazon scored a deal Wednesday to distribute old shows from premium cable TV channel HBO to its monthly Prime subscribers, landing a blow on rival Netflix in the streaming video battle.

User comments : 0

More news stories

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.

SK Hynix posts Q1 surge in net profit

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said Thursday its first-quarter net profit surged nearly 350 percent from the previous year on a spike in sales of PC memory chips.

Brazil enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights'

Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies ...

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

When things get glassy, molecules go fractal

Colorful church windows, beads on a necklace and many of our favorite plastics share something in common—they all belong to a state of matter known as glasses. School children learn the difference between ...

Rising role seen for health education specialists

(HealthDay)—A health education specialist can help family practices implement quality improvement projects with limited additional financial resources, according to an article published in the March/April ...