March 21, 2013
Department Of Defense Chooses Apple Over BlackBerry
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
BlackBerry has suffered yet another blow, as the US Department of Defense (DoD) has decided to switch to Apple. According to an exclusive piece at Electronista, the DoD decided to leave BlackBerry once the release of BlackBerry 10 rendered some existing 470,000 devices obsolete. The DoD is allegedly ready to move ahead and replace these devices with iPads, iPhones and even iPod Touches. Once the sequester is lifted, the DoD will be placing an order to Apple for just over 650,000 iOS devices.It had been previously reported the Pentagon chose not to switch to BlackBerry 10 devices as a cost saving measure. Now, it´s being reported that some needs simply cannot wait and an order for new devices will need to be placed as soon as possible. According to the Electronista report, the Pentagon plans to order 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod Touches and 210,000 iPhones. The report did not say which specific models would be purchased through this deal, though this information may be shared once the order is placed. The DoD has big plans for these devices, as well. Electronista´s source claimed, "more than half are headed to the battlefield, afloat, and to associated support commands. Most of the rest will stay [at the Pentagon]."
It´s also being reported these 650,000 iOS devices are meant to completely replace the existing 470,000 BlackBerry devices, none of which are capable of running the newest BB10 operating system. Though the Pentagon had been testing BB10, the sequester has put a damper on this program. Furthermore, any money earmarked to buy new BB10 devices might not make it back to the Pentagon. The sequester is hurting more than just the DoD. According to the report, most departments are scaling back their plans to purchase new equipment. Though the sequester has limited available funds, many departments have only delayed their plans to upgrade to new hardware, as opposed to completely scrapping them. Dell and Google, for instance, have seen an increase in the number of sales to the federal government.
The new BlackBerry 10 operating system and line of phones is meant to breathe some signs of life back into the decaying brand. Yet, despite being picked up by major carriers such as AT&T, TELUS, T-Mobile, Rogers and Verizon, losing large government partners has to sting a little for the once great Canadian company.
BlackBerry 10 had been delayed multiple times before it was finally shown off earlier this year. Unfortunately, while BlackBerry (then known as RIM) was busy preparing this new operating system, existing BlackBerry devices in the public and private sectors grew older. The DoD isn´t the first government agency to jump ship. Last November, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced they´d be switching to iPhone, saying their current BlackBerrys were getting too old and “have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate.” What makes Apple devices so attractive to government agencies like the DoD and the NTSB is their ability to be easily upgraded. Whereas the new BlackBerry 10 OS can only run on BlackBerry 10 devices, Apple´s latest iOS 6 can run on iPhones as old as the 3GS and iPads as old as the iPad 2.