Poor BlackBerry. Its woes are well-documented, as its luster fades and the company loses marketshare. Yes, fans still have new device debuts to enjoy, and there’s hope with BBX (RIM‘s new QNX-based OS), but the jury’s out on whether it will be enough to save good ole’ BB. Well, at least there’s always the business and government sectors, where RIM’s devices are still legion. After all, rock-solid security is a signature trait of this platform.
And so when the Department of Defense starts shopping around, looking to leave BlackBerry behind, you can almost feel the “ouch.” Indeed the DoD might be replacing those devices with Android gadgets, as it’s apparently evaluating the Dell Streak 5 for use on its defense network. This kind of makes sense, seeing as its huge size — which made it too unwieldy for everyday consumers — might be well-suited to military use. Already, the “Dell Mobile Security for Android” platform has been certified for information assurance and use on defense networks by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
What’s appealing about Android is that “members of the military will have access to information on their PCs or desktops, command and control programs, and a number of different powerful solutions that enable members in the military to operate with similar capabilities as those in controlled environments,” says Joe Ayers, an executive with Dell’s government business. Each branch of the military has separately been looking into (and in some cases, has even approved use of) both Android and iOS devices.
Not that BlackBerry has been completely left out in the cold. BB tablets are among the devices being cleared for Navy and Marine Corps. personnel — for use on their unclassified networks.