Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS devices have been cleared for usage by the Pentagon, according to Bloomberg. This means that Apple will be able to effectively compete against Samsung Electronics and BlackBerry for military sales. The Defense Department released a statement saying that they have approved the use of Apple’s products that run a version of the iOS 6 mobile platform.
Earlier this month, Samsung that use the company’s signature KNOX security software was cleared for military contracts. Smartphones and tablets that run on the BlackBerry 10 have also been approved for military usage. For the past several years, BlackBerry was the clear winner for government use since they were consistently given federal certification for protecting sensitive data.
The Defense Department has over 600,000 mobile devices. This includes 470,000 BlackBerrys, 41,000 Apple products, and 8,700 Android devices. Many Apple and Android based products that are in use are not connected to military networks as of right now. Samsung worked closely with the U.S. National Security Agency to build a secure version of Android with multiple layers of software and hardware protection. The Samsung Galaxy S4 will be the first smartphone to use the Knox security software.
Getting military clearance does not guarantee a government contract, but it eliminates the need for security reviews at the individual Department of Defense organization level. BlackBerry is now really dealing with a run for their money since Samsung and Apple both were approved this month.