The U.S. Department of Defense has approved BlackBerry 10 devices for use by its employees. BlackBerry’s latest devices running on the BB10 operating system, including the Z10 and Q10 smartphones as well as the PlayBook tablet, have passed the stringent security requirements imposed by the DoD. That’s good news for the company which hopes to retain the government as one of its major customers.
BlackBerry has been struggling to reestablish itself in the smartphone market and hold onto existing customers. Last year saw the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency replace its employees’ BlackBerry phones with Apple iPhones, while the DoD moved away from the exclusive use of BlackBerry phones to include other devices. The DoD uses over 600,000 mobile devices, 470,000 of which are still BlackBerry, though it also utilizes 41,000 Apple devices and another 8,700 devices running on Google’s Android OS.
The security features of BlackBerry devices continue to gain the government’s trust and favor, and this latest approval will likely boost the sales of BB10 devices. BlackBerry is depending on the success of its new smartphones to revitalize its slipping business; the Z10 launched in the U.S. back in March, while the Q10 recently became available in the U.K. and Canada, but hasn’t reached the U.S. yet.
Among the latest devices released by Apple, Samsung, and BlackBerry, the latter is the first to get DoD approval. Security approvals for Apple and Samsung devices, including Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and the newest iPhones and iPads, are expected in the next few weeks.