U.S. Air Force Favors 5,000 iOS Devices Over BlackBerry

According to a report by the Air Force Times, the U.S. military branch is dropping 5,000 BlackBerry phones and replacing them with Apple’s iPhones. The move is included in the wider strategy to bring in modern handsets and remove outdated devices.

The source says that all mobile users at the Air Force will be trading their old BlackBerry phones for the new iPhones, or other devices that are approved. This move comes after the purchase of the 18,000 iPads by the branch earlier in 2013.

More details from the Times:
“In order to keep costs down and save on network resources, BlackBerrys will be turned in and shut off once the user is transitioned to an iOS device,” Brig. Gen. Kevin Wooton, communications director for Air Force Space Command, said in a statement.
Any new BlackBerry provisioned after Jan. 1 will require a waiver from AFSPC/A6, Wooten said.
Initially, the Air Force will focus on replacing BlackBerrys and executive users and enabling about 5,000 iOS devices for use. The Air Force didn’t say whether these devices will be supported by the Defense Information Systems Agency’s new mobile device management software, but it’s likely that DISA will play a role in centrally managing Air Force devices.”
CrackBerry also has BlackBerry’s statement:
“The ongoing threat of cyber attacks requires organizations to be vigilant about mobile security. For customers that have the highest security requirements, such as those in government, there is nothing more secure than a BlackBerry device managed by a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
There is a clear reason why BlackBerry has more government certifications than any other vendor, and the only enterprise mobility management vendor and handset maker to receive the Department of Defense “Authority to Operate” certification. Security is built into everything we do, and we’ve been doing it longer and better than anyone else.
We’ve been a trusted partner to government agencies for more than a decade, and have more than 80,000 BlackBerry devices in DISA alone. Our competitors have not been tested in the field or subjected to the long term rigors of high stress applications, making their security model difficult to trust. BlackBerry remains the best option for governments around the world.”
Sadly BlackBerry isn’t losing a big government client for the first time to a competitor. The company sued to have a monopoly in the government sector once, but high-profile organizations have dropped its handsets in recent times.

The new CEO John Chen however is trying to bring improvements. In the first few months of his tenure, he has assisted the company avoid a buyout and has responded to John Legere being targeted by T-Mobile.

What do you think?

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