Dell’s Venue, a smartphone running the Google-spawned Android operating system, has gained Penatgon approval to be used on Department of Defense networks, according to a recently published federal document. A tweaked version of Venue running Android 2.2 – without Android Market access – joins members of RIM’s BlackBerry smartphone line as the only devices approved for use on DoD networks. The news gives Google and its OEM partners a foothold into the incredibly lucrative military and government markets for hardware and apps. Bloomberg estimates that RIM did $84 million worth of business in the sector during 2011 alone.
According to 9to5Mac, working off of a “Security Technical Implementation Guide” obtained via Stripes and Stars, the newly approved Dell Venue will not only lack access to the Android Market, but also implement restrictions regarding access to and transmission of classified information, and access the Web only via approved proxy servers. The DoD is said to be at work on an “app store” of their own, meant to bolster a secure, mobile information network for use by soldiers and other personnel in their. The DoD has also expressed interest in finding a way to allow secure access to commercial app stores from approved devices.
And yes, apparently some military personnel want iPhones, too. 9to5mac reports that “Apple’s iPhones and iPads are already being tested by the Defense Information Systems Agency for use on DoD networks.” No timeline has been given for possible approval of iOS devices for use on DoD networks.
You out there, citizen of the world: What platform do you want your nation’s troops and defense officials using for their smartphone needs?