BlackBerry 10 smartphones and PlayBook tablets have been cleared by the US Department of Defense for use on its networks, amid reports that the department may also clear devices from Samsung and Apple.
The department has approved BlackBerry 10 smartphones and PlayBook tablets with its enterprise mobility management platform BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 to be used on its networks, BlackBerry said yesterday.
After testing through DoD labs, the devices have been listed in the Defense Information Systems Agency's Unified Communications Approved Product List. DISA, which manages the information infrastructure for defence, certifies commercial technology for defence use.
The company, formerly known as RIM, had announced in November that its BlackBerry 10 platform was FIPS 140-2 certified. FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) security certification would enable government agencies to deploy BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, it said.
BlackBerry said in March it shipped about one million BlackBerry Z10 smartphones during its fiscal fourth quarter which ended March 2. The Z10 is the first BlackBerry 10 OS device. BlackBerry shipped a total of six million smartphones in the quarter, the company said as it released its quarterly earnings.
The current approval from the department covers the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 smartphones and PlayBook tablets on DoD networks, which will likely give a boost to sales of these devices, which the company is counting on to revive its business. The Q10 is already available in the UK and Canada, but not yet in the US.
The DoD, however, expects to give security approvals in the coming weeks for Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and iPhones and iPads running Apple's latest operating system, The Wall Street Journal reported this week. The department has already cleared Samsung's Knox, a new Android-based platform designed by the company to enhance security of the current open source Android, according to reports quoting a Pentagon spokesman.