The competition among the top players in the smartphone and tablet segments has now reached the corridors of the US Department of Defense. Undeniably, the recent approval of Blackberry Operating System 10 by Pentagon implies that personnel can use Blackberry devices and applications for communication. However, a development that is of grave concern to Blackberry maker, Research in Motion (RIM), is that the Department of Defense is also meticulously reviewing the latest versions of other operating systems such as Android as well as the Apple Inc.'s OS.
Furthermore, it is widely expected that open source operating system devices using Samsung KNOX will be evaluated for security operations in the next fifteen days, not to mention that Blackberry 10 and Apple Inc.’s iOS 6 are under the security testing process. Once the tests are completed, it is expected that all of the above will be approved for use by various Pentagon personnel and departments.
Samsung KNOX(s) Blackberry’s hopes
For several years now Blackberry has been the top-choice for defense as well as corporate users for the rich browser-based secure communication services it provided. Now, with the inherent security issue fixed with Samsung’s new KNOX solution (now available on Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 10.1) things are heating-up for Blackberry. In fact, Apple Inc.'s iOS 6 is already approved in the UK for use by defense personnel, but ONLY for viewing of non-SECRET content.
Post approval of both Android and Samsung OS for use within the high defense echelons of the US departments, Blackberry looks to lose a sizeable section of its market segment. The approval by the DoD is a marketing license for makers of Android devices as it now enables them to meet criticism of their security flaws. The approval now offers these platforms to present their products as secured and trustworthy ones for use by defense authorities, thereby luring more corporate clients looking for a highly-secure and trusted OS.
BlackBerry falls out of favor due to glitches
In its initial days, Blackberry established its credentials as a secure and trusted operating system that could easily be deployed for high-security communications. However, in the past few years Blackberry has had a backward slide with outages in Europe and failed tablet form factors. In the past 10 months, Blackberry has lost its exclusive consumer base in Capitol Hill, the Department of Homeland Security and NASA to both iPhones and Android devices, besides the increasingly popular iPad.
Samsung pushing all buttons to seek DoD approval
For a long time now, both Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. have been pushing the Department of Defense to get the essential approvals. Samsung Electronics Co., in fact, hired executives from RIM and ex-security veterans to match the department’s security parameters.
Additionally, Samsung Electronics Co. has a new line-up of dust-proof, water-proof devices that are aimed at the entire spectrum of consumers: from mountain-climbers, kayakers to government agents.
Apple Inc. too is expected to make inroads into defense mobile sale contracts through its iOS 6 version. A defense spokesperson has commented that iOS 6 is now being tested for security compliance under a different security guide.
Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. are likely to soon penetrate this segment as well with their high-end devices!