reported that the Pentagon is close to granting security
clearance to Apple's (NASDAQ:
) iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy smartphones. According to the
report, iOS 6 devices will be supported as well as iOS 5 on a
limited basis but subject to hardware modifications.
This isn't as big of a story as it appears, though. Last year,
reported that the Pentagon was hiring a contractor to secure and
manage 162,500 Apple and Android products with the possibly of
later expanding to eight million devices.
It was widely speculated that this was the beginning of the
end of BlackBerry's (NASDAQ:
) virtual monopoly in the government enterprise business.
Later, according to
, a DoD spokesman clarified by saying:
"The Department is aware of recent reporting that asserts it
is 'dropping' BlackBerry. This reporting is in error. The
Department recently released its mobility strategy and supporting
implementation plan, which clarifies we are moving towards a
mobile management capability that supports a variety of devices,
to include BlackBerry."
But there's little doubt that this news places more pressure
on BlackBerry. Currently, the Pentagon supports more than 600,000
mobile devices through its various programs. Seventy-eight
percent (470,000) are BlackBerry devices; 13 percent (80,000) are
Android devices and about seven percent (41,000) are iOS
In 2008, BlackBerry held a 73 percent market share in the
business smartphone space, according to
, but that share has been in free-fall in recent years. By late
November of 2011, that number had dropped to 36 percent and by
2012, some enterprise segments reported that BlackBerry had only
a seven percent share.
Undoubtedly, BlackBerry is holding on to the Pentagon's most
recent comments that the new system isn't a gradual
transformation away from its platform.
"The key takeaway is that it's a multi-vendor solution," Lt.
Col. Damien Pickart said to AppleInsider in February. "We will
have a DoD-wide device management system and a DoD-wide app
The most recent data found that BlackBerry's new Z10
smartphone isn't off to the rousing start that the company had
According to Barron's
, Pacific Crest's James Faucette said that Z10 inventory is above
targeted levels as sales were likely hurt by newer models coming
to market. The company was hoping that its new phones would stop
the glut of customers switching to Android or iOS phones.
Whether or not the Pentagon's more inclusive smartphone policy
represents one more nail in the coffin for BlackBerry is still
unclear but regardless of how each side spins the news, allowing
the more popular competitors to have a larger presence in a
market it has historically dominated can't be positive news.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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