According to a report from Electronista, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be supplying iOS devices to the United States Department of Defense, replacing all of the 470,000 BlackBerry devices currently in use by employees. Until this year, the DOD handed out a Blackberry to each of its employees for answering emails, business calls etc. However, with Blackberry upheaving its old system with the new Blackberry 10 OS, the DOD can no longer use the older devices.
The DOD also experienced a cut in the funding for the new software as the result of the sequester. Now, they will be replacing the older technology with the purchase of 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod touches, and 210,000 iPhones.
The iPhones will vary, likely depending on each employee’s usage and need for certain features. According to the report, “more than half are headed to the battlefield, afloat, and to associated support commands. Most of the rest will stay [at the Pentagon].”
Late last year, the U.S government said that RIM (now Blackberry), would no longer have an exclusive contract for smartphone devices. This is great news for Apple, with its products currently being used to run businesses such as Salesforce, by pilots as electronic flight bags, and now the U.S government.
It is not surprising that the DOD is making the move to Apple products, however, it does mean that Apple would need to make sure their iOS devices are extremely secure, especially with soldiers using them overseas.
Update – The original source of this news published new information stating, “The initial telephone conversation claims that the information obtained “is not from an official DoD source” and notes that the BlackBerry platform is not being dumped.” However, the publication emphasized on the fact that “the report of the purchase order is accurate, but emphasized that the purchase awaits rectification of the government’s financial situation, as previously reported.”