Samsung’s challenge to BlackBerry’s enterprise credentials gained a notable boost when the US Department of Defense (DoD) approved the firm’s Knox service as good enough for use by the US government and military services.
BlackBerry’s new BB10 devices, the Z10, Q10 and its Playbook tablet also received this approval. However, the fact one of its chief rivals can now compete at the highest level for military contracts will be unwelcome competition, especially given the clamour for Samsung devices.
The approval by the DoD may also make more enterprises reconsider Android devices for work use, if the Knox system is deemed good enough for government use. Although at present Samsung has been vague about when the Knox service will actually be available.
"This is a significant step towards establishing a multi-vendor environment that supports a variety of state-of-the-art devices and operating systems," said Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart in a widely reported statement.
The approval was welcomed by Samsung, which said it underlined its position as a major player within enterprise markets. “This approval enables other government agencies and regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services to adopt Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets. This is a significant milestone for Samsung as we work to grow our relationships within government and large corporate enterprises,” said JK Shin, chief executive of Samsung Electronics.
BlackBerry also welcomed the accreditation. “BlackBerry 10 is ideal for government customers because it offers a rich, highly responsive mobile computing experience, along with BlackBerry’s proven and validated security model,” said BlackBerry senior vice president of security, Scott Totzke.
“This approval will enable DoD customers to connect their BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10 smartphones to DoD networks and securely access assets from work.”
The DoD is also said to be in the process of approving the iOS 6 platform from Apple, in what could be seen as a watershed moment for the mobile market as all major operating systems start to become suitable for high-level use having overcome security concerns.
This could be particularly welcome news for businesses grappling with the growing bring your own device trend that’s predicted to be in place for almost half of all firms by 2016.
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